Good mechanical fixation of an implant to the surrounding bone is important for its longevity, and is influenced by both biological and mechanical factors. This study parametrically evaluates the mechanics of the interface with a computationally efficient analytic structural model of the shear stress field and global shear stiffness of an axially loaded implant. The utility of the analytic model was first established by validating its assumptions with a case-specific finite element model. We then used the analytic model for a sensitivity analysis of the relationship between the pattern of tissue growth and shear properties of the interface for our previously reported loaded in vivo experimental micromotion device. The bone located directly at the implant surface was found to be the most effective site for increasing interface stiffness. This suggests that the implant surface is the most desirable site for bone growth, yet is also the most mechanically challenging environment due to its maximal shear stresses. Thus, these findings support the further investigation of osteo-conductive coatings and other biological stimuli to overcome the challenging mechanics, and to promote bone growth directly at the implant surface. The model also demonstrated that the mechanical contribution to the global implant shear stiffness of a commonly observed isolated sclerotic bone rim is very limited. The results of this sensitivity analysis agree with experimental studies with the micromotion device, and with clinical studies reporting good results with osteo-conductive coatings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Foundation of Medical Research (FRM, France), Danish Rheumatism Association, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute are acknowledged for their assistance. Related experimental studies were conducted with the support of NIH (AR 42051), the Arthritis Foundation, the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. Biomet, Inc. has provided the titanium plasma spray and hydroxyapatite coated implants.
- Analytical model
- Bone distribution pattern
- Bone-implant interface
- Joint replacement
- Shear behaviour