School of Engineering and Materials Science
Research Student Awards
PhD Thesis: Assessment of porous hydroxyapatite for bone replacement
Author: HING, Karin
Supervisor(s): Serena Best, Bill Bonfield
There has been no thorough investigation into the physical and structural properties of porous HA and their effects on bone ingrowth.
The material used in this study was a carbonated apatite (containing < 0.9% levels of trace element impurities) with a trabecular macrostructure, that had been converted from bovine cancellous bone. The apparent density of the material ranged from 0.35 - 1.45 g.cm-3 and the macrostructural morphology varied from an open equiaxed foam to a columnar honeycomb-like structure. The ultimate compressive stress was strongly related (r = 0.9) to the square of the apparent density, while compressive modulus was influenced by both apparent density and macrostructural morphology. Transmission electron microscopy of human osteoblast-like cells cultured on the material demonstrated that cells were closely associated with the surface. Specimens with densities of 0.6, 0.9 and 1.2 g.cm-3 were then implanted in a lapine cancellous site for periods of 10 days, 3, 5, 13 and 26 weeks. After implantation all specimens elicited a highly biocompatible response, with active areas of bone deposition, remodelling and revascularisation and no fibrous encapsulation. The amount of bone ingrowth within the implant (25-10%) after 5 weeks was found to vary with apparent density (0.6-1.2 g.cm-3) indicating that osseointegration was a function of macrostructural morphology. Pushout testing of retrieved specimens indicated that all implants were securely fixed by 5 weeks (2-3 MPa). Compression testing demonstrated that after 5 weeks low density implants were sufficiently reinforced by bone ingrowth to equal the compressive strength of the host tissue (6 MPa) which increased to approximately 20 MPa at 3 and 6 months.