Bone integration capability of alkali- and heat-treated nanobimorphic Ti–15Mo–5Zr–3Al
The role of nanofeatured titanium surfaces in a number of aspects of in vivo bone–implant integration, and, in particular, their potential advantages over microfeatured titanium surfaces, as well as their specific contribution to osteoconductivity, is largely unknown. This study reports the creation of a unique nanobimorphic titanium surface comprised of nanotrabecular and nanotuft-like structures and determines how the addition of this nanofeature to a microroughened surface affects bone–implant integration. Machined surfaces without microroughness, sandblasted microroughened surfaces, and micro–nano hybrid surfaces created by sandblasting and alkali and heat treatment of Ti–15Mo–5Zr–3Al alloy were subjected to biomechanical, interfacial and histological analyses in a rat model. The presence of microroughness enabled accelerated establishment of biomechanical implant fixation in the early stages of healing compared to the non-microroughened surfaces; however, it did not increase the implant fixation at the late stages of healing. The addition of nanobimorphic features to the microroughened surfaces further increased the implant fixation by as much as 60–100% over the healing time. Bone area within 50 μm of the implant surface, but not beyond this distance, was significantly increased by the presence of nanobimorphic features. Although the percentage of bone–implant contact was also significantly increased by the addition of nanobimorphic features, the greatest improvement was found in the soft tissue intervention between the bone and the implant, which was reduced from >30% to <5%. Mineralized tissue densely deposited with calcium-binding globular proteins was observed in an extensive area of nanobimorphic surfaces after biomechanical testing. This study clearly demonstrates the nanofeature-enhanced osteoconductivity of titanium by an alkali- and heat-treated nanobimorphic surface compared to that by microfeatured surfaces, which results not only in an acceleration but also an improvement of bone–implant integration. The identified biological parameters that successfully detect the advantages of nanofeatures over microfeatures will be useful in evaluating new implant surfaces in future studies.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 7, Issue 12, December 2011, Pages 4267–4277