Histological Comparison of New Biodegradable Magnesium-Based Implants for Maxillofacial Applications


Background A variety of materials have been used for bone augmentation, distraction osteotomy, and in post-cancer patients following tumor removal. However, a temporary metal implant that would resorb after successful treatment is a new concept. Magnesium was suggested as a suitable material for these purposes because it is biocompatible, has better mechanical properties than titanium, and stimulates new bone formation. This study evaluates histological appearance of magnesium-based implants and the surrounding bone. Materials and Methods Three magnesium-based biomaterials were tested in a rabbit bone defect model: magnesium–hydroxyapatite (Mg–HA), W4 (96 % magnesium, 4 % yttrium), and pure magnesium (pure Mg). Animals were sacrificed after 6 and 12 weeks and the samples were analyzed histologically and histomorphometrically. Results Mg–HA had the highest mean amount of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) positive cells at the implantation site of all groups. It had shown the fastest degradation rate already at 6 weeks but the least amount of new bone formation. New bone was seen forming in direct contact with pure Mg and W4. The mean gas volume was highest in W4 compared to pure Mg and Mg–HA but this difference was not statistically significant. W4 had the lowest mean number of TRAP-positive cells of all materials. Conclusion Pure Mg and W4 were shown to be the most promising materials in this study in respect to the bone response to the implant material. They could be used for screws and plates in bone augmentation procedures.
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