Scanning Microscopy


The interface of dense hydroxyapatite (HA) implants with different surface roughnesses was investigated after implantation into the spongy bone of the distal femur of rabbits by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) following transverse fractures in the interface. Each implant displayed considerable changes in surface morphology caused by leaching (increasing pore diameter), corrosion (particulate disintegration), and active resorption by osteoclasts. Macrophages were involved in "cleaning" the surface via phagocytosis of loose implant particles. Newly formed surface elevations provided adhesion points for fibers and fibrils. Subsequent mineralization of these areas stabilized the interdigitation of surface elevations and extracellular matrix with adhering fibers and contributed to the tensile strength in the interface. This investigation provides further knowledge about HA implants, which seem to be partially resorbed by osteoclast-like cells.

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