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Human bone ingrowth into a porous tantalum acetabular cup

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE
3 Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece

Topical Section: Biological and biomimetic materials

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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Copyright Info: © 2017, Gregory N. Haidemenopoulos, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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