Influence of material and microtopography on the development of local infection in vivo: Experimental investigation in rabbits

Thomas F. Moriarty, Laurence Debefve, Ludovic Boure, Davide Campoccia, Urs Schlegel, Robert G. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polishing the surface of internal fracture fixation (IFF) implant materials can ease implant removal and reduce irritation to gliding tissues by reducing soft tissue adhesion and bony overgrowth. Thus, polishing the surface of these implants is expected to have significant clinical benefit in certain situations. The aim of the present study was to determine if polishing the surface of an IFF device influences susceptibility to infection. The local infection rate associated with 4-hole 2.0 mm Synthes® locking compression plates (LCPs) composed of clinically available commercially pure titanium (cpTi) and titanium aluminium niobium (TAN) in their standard microrough form was compared with that of their test polished equivalents and also to clinically available electropolished stainless steel (EPS). The LCPs were fixed in locking mode onto the tibia of mature, female New Zealand White rabbits and a clinical strain of Staphylococcus aureus was added to the implantation site. Twenty eight days after surgery the rabbits were euthanized and assessed for infection. The rank order based on descending ID50 was; polished TAN, standard TAN, standard cpTi, EPS and finally polished cpTi, however, the ID50 values did not differ greatly between the groups with the same material. Using the LCP model in locking mode, polishing the surface of both cpTi and TAN was not found to influence the susceptibility to infection in our animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-670
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Implant surface
  • Infection
  • Locking Compression Plate (LCP)
  • Polishing
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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