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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2014 Jan;102(1):225-33. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34684. Epub 2013 May 18.

Finite element analysis and cellular studies on advanced, controlled porous structures with subsurface continuity in bio-implantable titanium alloys.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742.


Highly-porous metallic implant onlay materials (specifically those containing surface pores that intersect beneath the onlay surface) have been investigated recently for their potential to reduce bone resorption and to improve the overall stability of the implant. In the current study, sub-surface interconnectivity of high-aspect-ratio pores was created directly in the substrate of an implant material using wire electrical discharge machining (EDM). This technique was used to produce intersecting pores with diameters of 180-250 μm on a clinically relevant implant material—commercially pure (CP) Grade 4 Ti—with a very high degree of control over pore morphology. These pores resulted in no significant microstructural modification to the surrounding Ti, and the inner pore surfaces could be thermally oxidized to produce a microrough, bioactive TiO2 layer. Finite element analysis of Ti models containing these EDM-attainable intersecting pore geometries suggested they produce higher bone/implant interface strengths and lower susceptibility to stress shielding of the surrounding bone as compared with models containing simpler surface geometries. In vitro experiments using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) demonstrated mineralized tissue ingrowth of ∼ 300 μm into EDM-produced pores. This amount of ingrowth is expected to allow for full interlocking of mineralized tissue and implant given the proper pore structure design.


electrical discharge machining; osseointegration; surface modification; titanium implant; total hip arthroplasty

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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