Characteristics of bone ingrowth and interface mechanics of a new porous tantalum biomaterial

Montreal General Hospital and McGill University, Québec, Canada.
The Bone & Joint Journal (Impact Factor: 2.8). 10/1999; 81(5):907-14. DOI: 10.1302/0301-620X.81B5.9283
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have studied the characteristics of bone ingrowth of a new porous tantalum biomaterial in a simple transcortical canine model using cylindrical implants 5 x 10 mm in size. The material was 75% to 80% porous by volume and had a repeating arrangement of slender interconnecting struts which formed a regular array of dodecahedron-shaped pores. We performed histological studies on two types of material, one with a smaller pore size averaging 430 microm at 4, 16 and 52 weeks and the other with a larger pore size averaging 650 microm at 2, 3, 4, 16 and 52 weeks. Mechanical push-out tests at 4 and 16 weeks were used to assess the shear strength of the bone-implant interface on implants of the smaller pore size. The extent of filling of the pores of the tantalum material with new bone increased from 13% at two weeks to between 42% and 53% at four weeks. By 16 and 52 weeks the average extent of bone ingrowth ranged from 63% to 80%. The tissue response to the small and large pore sizes was similar, with regions of contact between bone and implant increasing with time and with evidence of Haversian remodelling within the pores at later periods. Mechanical tests at four weeks indicated a minimum shear fixation strength of 18.5 MPa, substantially higher than has been obtained with other porous materials with less volumetric porosity. This porous tantalum biomaterial has desirable characteristics for bone ingrowth; further studies are warranted to ascertain its potential for clinical reconstructive orthopaedics.

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