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Human bone ingrowth into a porous tantalum acetabular cup

  • Received: 29 September 2017 Accepted: 21 November 2017 Published: 23 November 2017
  • Porous Tantalum is increasingly used as a structural scaffold in orthopaedic applications. Information on the mechanisms of human bone ingrowth into trabecular metal implants is rather limited. In this work we have studied, qualitatively, human bone ingrowth into a retrieved porous tantalum monoblock acetabular cup using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. According to the results and taking into account the short operational life (4 years) of the implant, bone ingrowth on the acetabular cup took place in the first two-rows of porous tantalum cells to an estimated depth of 1.5 to 2 mm. The bone material, grown inside the first raw of cells, had almost identical composition with the attached bone on the cup surface, as verified by the same Ca:P ratio. Bone ingrowth has been a gradual process starting with Ca deposition on the tantalum struts, followed by bone formation into the tantalum cells, with gradual densification of the bone tissue into hydroxyapatite. A critical step in this process has been the attachment of bone material to the tantalum struts following the topology of the porous tantalum scaffold. These results provide insight to the human bone ingrowth process into porous tantalum implants.

    Citation: Gregory N. Haidemenopoulos, Kostantinos N. Malizos, Anna D. Zervaki, and Kostantinos Bargiotas. Human bone ingrowth into a porous tantalum acetabular cup[J]. AIMS Materials Science, 2017, 4(6): 1220-1230. doi: 10.3934/matersci.2017.6.1220

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  • Porous Tantalum is increasingly used as a structural scaffold in orthopaedic applications. Information on the mechanisms of human bone ingrowth into trabecular metal implants is rather limited. In this work we have studied, qualitatively, human bone ingrowth into a retrieved porous tantalum monoblock acetabular cup using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis. According to the results and taking into account the short operational life (4 years) of the implant, bone ingrowth on the acetabular cup took place in the first two-rows of porous tantalum cells to an estimated depth of 1.5 to 2 mm. The bone material, grown inside the first raw of cells, had almost identical composition with the attached bone on the cup surface, as verified by the same Ca:P ratio. Bone ingrowth has been a gradual process starting with Ca deposition on the tantalum struts, followed by bone formation into the tantalum cells, with gradual densification of the bone tissue into hydroxyapatite. A critical step in this process has been the attachment of bone material to the tantalum struts following the topology of the porous tantalum scaffold. These results provide insight to the human bone ingrowth process into porous tantalum implants.
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    © 2017 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
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