In vivo behaviour of hydroxyapatite coatings on titanium implants: a quantitative study in the rabbit
The aim of this study was to evaluate quantitatively the behaviour of in vivo hydroxyapatite coated implants (HA) in the rabbit over time, and to compare the results with observations made on titanium plasma spray implants (TPS). Results were analysed according to the percentage of bone contact. Eighteen HA cylindrical implants (3.25×8 mm) and 6 TPS cylindrical implants from Steri-Oss were placed in the epiphysis of the femur in 24 white rabbits. Each rabbit received one implant. Three rabbits with one HA implant (n=3) and 1 rabbit with one TPS implant (n=1) were sacrificed after implantation periods of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 months. Implants were cut along the long axis and prepared for histological and histomorphometrical evaluations. Measurements of coating thickness and percentage of bone contact were performed with scanning electron microscopy analysis on the sides of the implant, in 3 different types of bone, namely cortical, trabecular and marrow. In cortical bone, dense bone was apposed to the HA implants: from 92.3±5.5% at 2 months to 89.6±6.5% at 1 year, with no significant regression of HA thickness (P=0.37). TPS coating showed less bone contact, but thickness was stable (P=0.46). In trabecular zone, where bone contact was less pronounced, a significant regression of HA coatings thickness (P<0.05) was observed. Nevertheless TPS coatings were stable (P=0.81). Histomorphometrical results demonstrated that a highly significant regression (P<0.0001) of HA thickness was observed in the marrow area, where the bone-to-implant contact never exceeded 7.6% from 2 to 12 months. TPS coating did not reveal any sign of resorption (P=0.88), despite a rare bone contact. Histological analysis revealed inflammatory and giant cells, principally in the marrow area in contact with HA coating, but always in restrictive numbers. We conclude that bone contact protected the HA coating from resorption.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 23, Issue 12, June 2002, Pages 2569–2575