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Porous Hydroxyapatite And Tricalcium Phosphate Cylinders With Two Different Pore Size Ranges Implanted In The Cancellous Bone Of Rabbits. A Comparative Histomorphometric And Histologic Study Of Bony Ingrowth And Implant Substitution.

P. Eggli, W. Müller, R. Schenk
Published 1988 · Medicine

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To investigate the histophysiology of implant degradation, hydroxyapatite and tricalcium phosphate cylinders with a diameter of 3 mm were implanted in the cancellous bone of the distal femur and the proximal tibia of 15 New Zealand White rabbits for up to six months. All implants had a homogeneous pore distribution and a porosity of 60%. Ceramics with a pore size range of 50-100 micron and 200-400 micron were compared. Morphometric analysis showed that up to 85.4% of the originally implanted tricalcium phosphate was degraded after six months, whereas the volume reduction of the hydroxyapatite was only 5.4% after the same period. Within the first months bone and tissue ingrowth and implant resorption occurred at a higher rate in the smaller-pored tricalcium phosphate than in the larger-pored material. Hydroxyapatite cylinders with small pores were totally infiltrated by bone or bone marrow after four months, whereas in the larger-pored hydroxyapatite implants tissue did not penetrate all pores after six months and the amount of bone within the implant was small. Scanning electron microscopy of the material before implantation revealed the existence of numerous pore interconnections with diameters of about 20 micron in the smaller-pored ceramics. Such interconnections were rare in the larger-pored implants. The pore interconnections seem to promote vascular and tissue ingrowth and consequently the initial rate of implant resorption. Implant resorption is an active process and involves two different cell types. Acid phosphatase-positive osteoclast-like cells suggesting active resorption adhere directly to the surface, especially in tricalcium phosphate implants. Clusters of macrophages tightly packed with granular material are found in the pores and along the perimeter of all implant cylinders. They may play an active role in the intracellular degradation of small detached ceramic particles.

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