The interface of bone microstructure and an innovative coating: An X- ray diffraction study

L. Savarino, S. Stea, G. Ciapetti, D. Granchi, M. E. Donati, M. Cervellati, M. Visentin, A. Moroni, A. Pizzoferrato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The in vivo compatibility and degradation aspects of an innovative coating to be sprayed onto titanium implants were investigated. The surface of fluorinated apatite (fHA), consisting of fluorhydroxyapatite plasma sprayed in a vacuum atmosphere, was treated with carbonate to improve its biological compatibility. fHA coating was compared with titanium implants coated (a) with hydroxyapatite (HA) by the traditional plasma spraying, and (b) with titanium oxide (TiOx). Screw-shaped implants were inserted in the cortical bone of sheep tibiae. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of bone tissue and coatings was carried out at 2, 4, 12 and 36 weeks after surgery. The crystallographic habit of the implant-facing bone, as well as the structural stability of the coating, were evaluated. For each time period and type of ceramic bone apatite lattice at the interface, no significantly different reference apatite lattice and no foreign peak were recorded. Two weeks after implantation, the bone at the interface was strongly unmineralized in all samples; after 4 weeks, poorly mineralized bone microareas decreased. At 12 weeks, the newly formed bone tissue at the interface with both the new coating and HA coating was shown to be fully mineralized; this crystallographic habit was retained at 36 weeks, when particle release from the tested material was lower compared to the controls. The XRD pattern of bone apatite surrounding the coating particles was unmodified. The innovative coating did not alter the mineralization process at the interface. It improved implant osteointegration, mainly due to a limited release of particles. Consequently, clinical performance of external fixation treatment could be improved by modifying the chemical composition of the implant surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998


  • Biocompatibility
  • Ceramic
  • Coating
  • External fixation
  • X-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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