Free form fabricated features on CoCr implants with and without hydroxyapatite coating in vivo: a comparative study of bone contact and bone growth induction
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The current study evaluates the in vivo response to free form fabricated cobalt chromium (CoCr) implants with and without hydroxyapatite (HA) plasma sprayed coatings. The free form fabrication method allowed for integration of complicated pyramidal surface structures on the cylindrical implant. Implants were press fit into the tibial metaphysis of nine New Zealand white rabbits. Animals were sacrificed and implants were removed and embedded. Histological analysis, histomorphometry and electron microscopy studies were performed. Focused ion beam was used to prepare thin sections for high-resolution transmission electron microscopy examination. The fabricated features allowed for effective bone in-growth and firm fixation after 6 weeks. Transmission electron microscopy investigations revealed intimate bone-implant integration at the nanometre scale for the HA coated samples. In addition, histomorphometry revealed a significantly higher bone contact on HA coated implants compared to native CoCr implants. It is concluded that free form fabrication in combination with HA coating improves the early fixation in bone under experimental conditions.
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