Controlled Laser Texturing of Titanium Results in Reliable Osteointegration

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We have developed a laser-textured superhydrophilic Ti-6Al-4V surface with unique surface chemistry and topography that substantially promotes osteoblast adhesion in culture. Here we investigate the osteointegration of laser-textured implants in an ovine model. Our hypothesis was that laser-textured implants, without any surface coating (LT), would encourage comparable amounts of bone-implant contact and interfacial strength when compared with widely accepted hydroxyapatite (HA) coated implants. Additionally, we hypothesized that LT would significantly increase bony integration compared with machine-finished (MF) and grit-blasted (GB) implants. Forty-eight tapered transcortical pins were implanted into six sheep. Four experimental groups (LT, HA, MF, and GB) were investigated (n = 12) and implants remained in vivo for 6 weeks. Bone apposition rates, interfacial shear strength, and bone-implant contact (BIC) were quantified. The interfacial strength of LT and HA implants were found to be significantly greater than GB (p = 0.032 and p = 0.004) and MF (p = 0.004 and p = 0.004, respectively), but no significant difference between LT and HA implants was observed. Significantly increased BIC was measured adjacent to HA implants when compared with both LT and GB implant surfaces (p = 0.022 and p = 0.006, respectively). No significant difference was found when LT and GB implants were compared. However, all surface finishes encouraged significantly increased BIC when compared with the MF surface. Maximizing implant fixation to host bone is vital for its long-term success. The production of an LT surface is a simple and cheap manufacturing process and this study demonstrated that laser-textured implants are a very promising technical development that warrants further research. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res

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