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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2018 Nov;106(8):2841-2848. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.34064. Epub 2018 Jan 23.

Effects of intramedullary nails composed of a new β-type Ti-Nb-Sn alloy with low Young's modulus on fracture healing in mouse tibiae.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.
Institute for Material Research, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.


The influence of Young's moduli of materials on the fracture healing process remains unclear. This study aimed to assess the effects of intramedullary nails composed of materials with low Young's moduli on fracture repair. We previously developed a β-type Ti-Nb-Sn alloy with low Young's modulus close to that of human cortical bone. Here, we prepared two Ti-Nb-Sn alloys with Young's moduli of 45 and 78 GPa by heat treatment, and compared their effects on fracture healing. Fracture and nailing were performed in the right tibiae of C57BL/6 mice. The bone healing process was evaluated by microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), histomorphometry, and RT-PCR. We found larger bone volumes of fracture callus in the mice treated with the 45-GPa Ti-Nb-Sn alloy as compared with the 78-GPa Ti-Nb-Sn alloy in micro-CT analyses. This was confirmed with histology at day 14, with accelerated new bone formation and cartilage absorption in the 45-GPa Ti-Nb-Sn group compared with the 78-GPa Ti-Nb-Sn group. Acp5 expression was lower in the 45-GPa Ti-Nb-Sn group than in the 78-GPa Ti-Nb-Sn group at day 10. These findings indicate that intramedullary fixation with nails with a lower Young's modulus offer a greater capacity for fracture repair. Our 45-GPa Ti-Nb-Sn alloy is a promising material for fracture treatment implants.


Ti-Nb-Sn alloy; fracture healing; low Young's modulus; β-type titanium


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