The time-course of cancellous bone regeneration surrounding mechanically loaded implants affects implant fixation, and is relevant to determining optimal rehabilitation protocols following orthopaedic surgeries. We investigated the influence of controlled mechanical loading of titanium-coated polyether-ether ketone (PEEK) implants on osseointegration using time-lapsed, non-invasive, in vivo micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) scans. Implants were inserted into proximal tibial metaphyses of both limbs of eight female Sprague–Dawley rats. External cyclic loading (60 or 100 μm displacement, 1 Hz, 60 s) was applied every other day for 14 days to one implant in each rat, while implants in contralateral limbs served as the unloaded controls. Hind limbs were imaged with high-resolution micro-CT (12.5 μm voxel size) at 2, 5, 9, and 12 days post-surgery. Trabecular changes over time were detected by 3D image registration allowing for measurements of bone-formation rate (BFR) and bone-resorption rate (BRR). At day 9, mean %BV/TV for loaded and unloaded limbs were 35.5 ± 10.0% and 37.2 ± 10.0%, respectively, and demonstrated significant increases in bone volume compared to day 2. BRR increased significantly after day 9. No significant differences between bone volumes, BFR, and BRR were detected due to implant loading. Although not reaching significance (p = 0.16), an average 119% increase in pull-out strength was measured in the loaded implants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine