Osseo-mechanical induction of extra-cortical plates with reference to their surface properties and geometric designs

M J Coathup, P Bates, P Cool, P S Walker, N Blumenthal, J P Cobb, G W Blunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this investigation was to determine which geometric and surface properties encouraged optimal ingrowth and bonding of bone to an extra-cortical plate. Forty-eight titanium extra-cortical plates were attached onto the left and right femora of adult rabbits. The plates were of six different designs and the osseoconductive effects of four surfaces were examined. A roughened titanium surface, a plasma sprayed HA coating of low crystallinity (57%) and a solution precipitated calcium phosphate coating were compared with a plasma sprayed crystalline hydroxyapatite coating (crystallinity 85%). Thin sections were prepared by grinding and polishing. Bone formation and the interface around the plates were investigated histologically and computer and morphometric analyses were used to quantify new bone formation, bone apposition onto the plate, bone porosity and the condition of the HA coating. The study found that a hydroxyapatite coating (with the exception of the solution precipitated coating) had significantly greater interfacial contact with bone when compared to a roughened titanium surface, and that significantly more bone attached to a crystalline HA coating compared with the HA coating of lower crystallinity although significantly more bone formed in the vicinity of the lower crystalline HA coating. Differences in the bony reaction induced by the various geometric designs were evident and the optimal plate design requires either holes or slots along its length as this encouraged bone ingrowth into the plate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-800
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999


  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Plates
  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Crystallization
  • Durapatite
  • Femur
  • Materials Testing
  • Osseointegration
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Rabbits
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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