Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Commercially pure (c.p.) titanium and Ti-6Al-4V implants were inserted in the abdominal wall of rats. The surrounding fluid space, inflammatory cells and fibrous capsule were evaluated after 1, 6 and 12 weeks. Light-microscopic morphometry demonstrated a fluid space around both implant materials which gradually decreased with time. Macrophages were preferentially distributed close to the implant surface in the innermost zone (0–25 µm from the surface). In contrast, fibroblasts and endothelial cells were located mainly in the outer three zones (25–100 µm from the surface). At all time periods studied and around both materials, lymphocytes were detected throughout the surrounding tissue. The outer border of the fibrous capsule, which consisted of macrophages, fibroblasts, endothelial cells and collagen, was difficult to define, in particular during the early phase of healing. At later time stages, 6 and 12 weeks, no difference in width (60–90 µm) was observed between the two materials. No major quantitative differences with respect to the number of different cells, fluid space width and fibrous capsule thickness were noted between the two materials studied. The observed mild inflammatory reaction and the absence of statistically significant differences between c.p. titanium and Ti-6Al-4V in soft tissue indicate that both materials could be suitable for use in soft tissues. In the context of previous comparative studies it may be concluded that the animal species as well as the different implantation locals play an important role in the determination of biocompatibility.
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