Research Summary: Evaluation of Biological Properties of Electron Beam Melted Ti6Al4V Implant with Biomimetic Coating In Vitro and In Vivo

ABSTRACT

Background

High strength porous titanium implants are widely used for the reconstruction of craniofacial defects because of their similar mechanical properties to those of bone. The recent introduction of electron beam melting (EBM) technique allows a direct digitally enabled fabrication of patient specific porous titanium implants, whereas both their in vitro and in vivo biological performance need further investigation.


Methods

In the present study, we fabricated porous Ti6Al4V implants with controlled porous structure by EBM process, analyzed their mechanical properties, and conducted the surface modification with biomimetic approach. The bioactivities of EBM porous titanium in vitro and in vivo were evaluated between implants with and without biomimetic apatite coating.


Results

The physical property of the porous implants, containing the compressive strength being 163 – 286 MPa and the Young’s modulus being 14.5–38.5 GPa, is similar to cortical bone. The in vitro culture of osteoblasts on the porous Ti6Al4V implants has shown a favorable circumstance for cell attachment and proliferation as well as cell morphology and spreading, which were comparable with the implants coating with bone-like apatite. In vivo, histological analysis has obtained a rapid ingrowth of bone tissue from calvarial margins toward the center of bone defect in 12 weeks. We observed similar increasing rate of bone ingrowth and percentage of bone formation within coated and uncoated implants, all of which achieved a successful bridging of the defect in 12 weeks after the implantation.


Conclusions

This study demonstrated that the EBM porous Ti6Al4V implant not only reduced the stress-shielding but also exerted appropriate osteoconductive properties, as well as the apatite coated group. The results opened up the possibility of using purely porous titanium alloy scaffolds to reconstruct specific bone defects in the maxillofacial and orthopedic fields.

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Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 18-December-2012

Author(s): Li X., Feng Y., Wang C., Li G., Lei W., Zhang Z., Wang L.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0052049

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