Microscopy and microanalysis : the official journal of Microscopy Society of America, Microbeam Analysis Society, Microscopical Society of Canada

Osseointegration of Ti-6Al-4V alloy implants with a titanium nitride coating produced by a PIRAC nitriding technique: a long-term time course study in the rat.

PMID 25482093


This study examined bone tissue responses to Ti-6Al-4V alloy implants with a hard TiN coating applied by an original powder immersion reaction-assisted coating (PIRAC) nitriding method. Progression of implant fixation in the distal epiphysis and within the medullary cavity of the rat femur was evaluated between 3 days and 6 months postimplantation by scanning electron microscopy, oxytetracycline incorporation, and histochemistry. After 6 months, successful osseointegration was achieved in both epiphyseal and diaphyseal sites. Throughout, implant portions located within the epiphysis remained in close contact with bone trabeculae that gradually engulfed the implant forming a bone collar continuous with the trabecular network of the epiphysis. In the diaphysis, woven bone was first formed within the marrow cavity around the implant and later was replaced by a shell of compact bone around the implant. In general, higher osseointegration rates were measured for TiN-coated versus the uncoated implants, both in the epiphysis and in the diaphysis. In conclusion, our findings indicate an excellent long-term biocompatibility of TiN coatings applied by the PIRAC nitriding technique and superior osteoinductive ability in comparison with uncoated Ti-6Al-4V alloy. Such coatings can, therefore, be considered for improving the corrosion and wear resistance of titanium-based orthopedic implants.

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