Implant-borne suture expansion in rabbits: A histomorphometric study of the supporting bone

J. Andrew Parr, Lawrence P. Garetto, Mark E. Wohlford, Gordon R. Arbuckle, W. Eugene Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Osseointegrated implants have a large potential for diverse clinical applications, including support for sutural expansion and facial prostheses. The objectives of this study were to evaluate: (1) the histomorphometric response of thin cortical bone to implant placement and (2) whether loading of the bone surrounding these implants affects osseointegration as evaluated by histomorphometry. Eighteen New Zealand White rabbits had two titanium implants placed bilaterally in the anterior surface of their nasal bones. The rabbits were divided into an unloaded control group, one experimental group loaded at 1 Newton (N), and another loaded at 3 N. Fluorescent labels were used to mark areas of active bone formation. All rabbits were euthanized after 12 weeks of loading. Stereological point-hit and line-intercept methods were used to measure bone volume, direct bone-implant contact, new bone volume, and bone turnover rate in the bone surrounding the implants. All the implants remained stable during the loading period. A factorial ANOVA with repeated measures was used to compare the variables. The only significant difference among the three groups was a higher bone volume in the lateral coronal far region in the control group (p < 0.05). Within all groups, bone volume (p < 0.002), turnover rate (p < 0.001), and percent of new bone (p < 0.05) were higher within 1 mm of the implant compared to 1-3 mm away. This may be due to the increased stress and strain in the bone adjacent to the implant. This study indicates that there are no detrimental effects of loading on osseointegration when implants placed in the thin facial cortices are used as anchors for sutural expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 1999


  • Endosseous implant
  • Fluorescent bone labels
  • Histomorphometry
  • Sutural expansion
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials

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