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J Biomed Mater Res. 1997 Jul;36(1):55-64.

Healing of gaps around calcium phosphate-coated implants in trabecular bone of the goat.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, State University Leiden, University Hospital, The Netherlands.


Hydroxylapatite coatings are under clinical investigation in orthopaedics and dentistry. Bone formation on apatite coatings in the presence of gaps is important for clinical applications. The importance of the stability of the coating is not known at present. By varying the plasma-spray parameters, and by the addition of fluoride, the crystallinity and stability of calcium phosphates can be changed. It is suggested that bone formation is enhanced by dissolution of the apatite coating. We studied apatite coatings of varying stability with regard to their gap-healing characteristics, and we examined what the maximum gap would be that can be bridged if a coating is applied. Ti-6A1-4V implants coated with 62% crystalline hydroxylapatite, 30% crystalline hydroxylapatite or fluorapatite, or noncoated Ti-6A1-4V were implanted in 16 goats. The implants were surrounded by gaps of 1 or 2 mm, and the follow-up period was 6 weeks. Histological examination and histometry revealed that gaps of 1 mm can be bridged by bone if an apatite coating is applied. However, only a minimal amount of bone contact was seen on the apatite coatings with 2 mm gaps. Uncoated implants demonstrated no bone contact at all. Among the three different coatings there were no differences in gap healing. It can be concluded that in the goat, gaps of 2 or more mm between coated implants and host bone tissue inhibit bone deposition on the coating (p < 0.05), but the stability of the coating does not influence gap-healing characteristics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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