We evaluated bone microhardness at the interface with hydroxyapatite- coated stainless-steel pins used in an external fracture fixation system. Pins were transversally inserted into the diaphyses of sheep tibiae and were loaded in for 6 weeks. Uncoated pins were implanted as controls. Microhardness analysis, based on the measure of the resistance of the bone to the penetration of a small diamond pyramid, yielded an accurate and reproducible measure of the mineralization degree and of the orientation of collagen fibers. Bone tissue close to the pin is less hard than bone tissue far from it. Moreover, the presence of hydroxyapatite coating on the pins did not significantly affect bone hardness; actually, the mean hardness at the interface with the pins was 56.9 Vickers degrees, whereas at the interface with the uncoated pins it was 62.2. It can be concluded that, 6 weeks postsurgery, the bone growing into the threadings of a loaded screwed implant reached maturity at a degree lower than that of the host bone in both uncoated and coated implants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering