eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2006   Volume No 12 – pages 81-91

Title: Bone Nanostructure near Titanium and porous Tantalum implants studied by Scanning small angle x-ray scattering

Author: MH Bünger, M Foss, K Erlacher, H Li, X Zou, BL Langdahl, C Bünger, H Birkedal, F Besenbacher, JS Pedersen

Address: The Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), University of Aarhus, Building 1522, Ny Munkegade, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark


E-mail: foss at


Key Words: Small angle X-ray scattering, biocompatibility, orthopaedic implants, bone ultrastructure, biomineralization.


Publication date: November 30th 2006

Abstract: Bone sections including either titanium or porous tantalum implant devices used for interbody spinal fusion were investigated with position-resolved small angle X-ray scattering (sSAXS). The samples were obtained from six-month-old pigs that had undergone surgery three months prior to sacrifice. The aim of the study was to explore the possibility of using sSAXS to obtain information about thickness, orientation and shape/arrangement of the mineral crystals in bone near the implant surfaces. Detailed sSAXS scans were carried out in two different regions of bone adjacent to the implant in each of the implant samples. In the implant vicinity the mineral crystals tended to be aligned with the surface of the implants. The mean crystal thickness was between 2.1 and 3.0 nm. The mineral crystal thickness increased linearly with distance from the implant in both regions of the porous tantalum implant and in one of the regions in the titanium sample. In the second region of the titanium sample the thickest mineral crystals were found close to the implant surface. The observed differences in mineral thickness with distance from the implant surfaces might be explained by differences in mechanical load induced by the implant material and the geometrical design of the implant. The study shows that sSAXS is a powerful tool to characterize the nanostructure of bone near implant surfaces.


Article download: Pages 81-91 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v012a10