Bone response to surface modified titanium implants – studies on the tissue response after 1 year to machined and electropolished implants with different oxide thicknesses

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The bone formation around titanium implants with varied surface properties was investigated after 1 year in rabbits. Machined and electropolished samples with and without thick, anodically formed surface oxides were prepared, surface characterized and inserted in the cortical bone of rabbits. Scanning electron microscopy, scanning Auger electron spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy revealed marked differences in oxide thickness, surface topography and roughness, but no significant differences in surface chemical composition between the different groups of implants. Light microscopic morphology and morphometry showed that all implants were in contact with bone and had a large proportion of bone within the threads. There were no significant differences between the differently prepared implant groups. Our study shows that a high degree of bone contact and bone formation is achieved after 1 year with titanium implants which are modified with respect to oxide thickness and surface topography. There is no indication that a reduction of surface roughness, which in the initial phase decreases the rate of bone formation, had any influence on the amount of bone after 1 year in rabbit cortical bone.