Bioactive macroporous titanium implants highly interconnected
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Intervertebral implants should be designed with low load requirements, high friction coefficient and low elastic modulus in order to avoid the stress shielding effect on bone. Furthermore, the presence of a highly interconnected porous structure allows stimulating bone in-growth and enhancing implant-bone fixation. The aim of this study was to obtain bioactive porous titanium implants with highly interconnected pores with a total porosity of approximately 57 %. Porous Titanium implants were produced by powder sintering route using the space holder technique with a binder phase and were then evaluated in an in vivo study. The size of the interconnection diameter between the macropores was about 210 μm in order to guarantee bone in-growth through osteblastic cell penetration. Surface roughness and mechanical properties were analyzed. Stiffness was reduced as a result of the powder sintering technique which allowed the formation of a porous network. Compression and fatigue tests exhibited suitable properties in order to guarantee a proper compromise between mechanical properties and pore interconnectivity. Bioactivity treatment effect in novel sintered porous titanium materials was studied by thermo-chemical treatments and were compared with the same material that had undergone different bioactive treatments. Bioactive thermo-chemical treatment was confirmed by the presence of sodium titanates on the surface of the implants as well as inside the porous network. Raman spectroscopy results suggested that the identified titanate structures would enhance in vivo apatite formation by promoting ion exchange for the apatite formation process. In vivo results demonstrated that the bioactive titanium achieved over 75 % tissue colonization compared to the 40 % value for the untreated titanium.
This work was supported by CICYT Spanish project MAT-2015-67183-R (MINECO/DEFDER,UE) and the Andorra and Catalan Government for CTP grants.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests
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