Biocompatibility of laser-nanostructured titanium surfaces

Max Daniel Kauther, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
Amra Mumdzic-Zevotic, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
Christina Polan, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
Heidrun Jablonski, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
Jäger Marcus, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
Christian Wedemeyer, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

The primary stability of orthopedic implants is significantly influenced by design and material of the implant and its surface finish. The spontaneous adhesion of osteoblasts to the implant surface and their proliferation and mineralization leads to a better osteointegration. An innovative laser-nano-structured surface enlargement of the aerospace industry produces a uniform, reproducible nanostructure with increased roughness and surface, which might possibly have a positive effect on the process of osteointegration of orthopaedic implants.

In this in vivo study, the ingrowth and biocompatibility of a laser-nano-structured implant was studied in 40 New Zealand white rabbits. Surface-treated titanium cylinders (5x10mm) were press-fit implanted into the distal medial femur, with either titanium plasma spray (TPS) or titanium-niobium nitride (TiNbNi) coating. On the right side laser-nano-structured implants and on the left side the original implants were used. The rabbits were euthanized on days 0, 28 and 56. Radiographs, histomorphometry and pull-out experiments were performed.

All implants were integrated without osteolysis. The stability of TPS surfaces was significantly higher after 28 and 56 days compared to TiNbNi surfaces. Additional laser-nano-structuring showed no sigificant effects on TPS nor TiNbNi coatings. This prospective, randomized and blinded study showed significantly higher primary and secondary stability of TPS surfaces compared to TiNbNi coatings after 28 and 56 days. Further in vitro tests will examine changes at the cellular level of interaction with the implant surface.

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