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In the present study, 4 different metallic implant materials, either partly coated or polished, were tested for their osseointegration and biocompatibility in a pelvic implantation model in sheep.
Materials to be evaluated were: Cobalt-Chrome (CC), Cobalt-Chrome/Titanium coating (CCTC), Cobalt-Chrome/Zirconium/Titanium coating (CCZTC), Pure Titanium Standard (PTST), Steel, TAN Standard (TANST) and TAN new finish (TANNEW). Surgery was performed on 7 sheep, with 18 implants per sheep, for a total of 63 implants. After 8 weeks, the specimens were harvested and evaluated macroscopically, radiologically, biomechanically (removal torque), histomorphometrically and histologically.
Cobalt-Chrome screws showed significantly (p = 0.031) lower removal torque values than pure titanium screws and also a tendency towards lower values compared to the other materials, except for steel. Steel screws showed no significant differences, in comparison to cobalt-chrome and TANST, however also a trend towards lower torque values than the remaining materials. The results of the fluorescence sections agreed with those of the biomechanical test. Histomorphometrically, there were no significant differences of bone area between the groups. The BIC (bone-to-implant-contact), used for the assessment of the osseointegration, was significantly lower for cobalt-chrome, compared to steel (p = 0.001). Steel again showed a lower ratio (p = 0.0001) compared to the other materials.
This study demonstrated that cobalt-chrome and steel show less osseointegration than the other metals and metal-alloys. However, osseointegration of cobalt-chrome was improved by zirconium and/or titanium based coatings (CCTC, TANST, TAN, TANNEW) being similar as pure titanium in their osseointegrative behavior.