Nanostructured model implants for in vivo studies: influence of well-defined nanotopography on de novo bone formation on titanium implants
Journal article, 2011
An implantable model system was developed to investigate the effects of nanoscale surface properties on the osseointegration of titanium implants in rat tibia. Topographical nanostructures with a well-defined shape (semispherical protrusions) and variable size (60 nm, 120 nm and 220 nm) were produced by colloidal lithography on the machined implants. Furthermore, the implants were sputter-coated with titanium to ensure a uniform surface chemical composition. The histological evaluation of bone around the implants at 7 days and 28 days after implantation was performed on the ground sections using optical and scanning electron microscopy. Differences between groups were found mainly in the new bone formation process in the endosteal and marrow bone compartments after 28 days of implantation. Implant surfaces with 60 nm features demonstrated significantly higher bone-implant contact (BIC, 76%) compared with the 120 nm (45%) and control (57%) surfaces. This effect was correlated to the higher density and curvature of the 60 nm protrusions. Within the developed model system, nanoscale protrusions could be applied and systematically varied in size in the presence of microscale background roughness on complex screw-shaped implants. Moreover, the model can be adapted for the systematic variation of surface nanofeature density and chemistry, which opens up new possibilities for in vivo studies of various nanoscale surface-bone interactions.