In Vivo Evaluation of the Biocompatibility of Implanted Biomaterials: Morphology of the Implant-Tissue Interactions

David E. Steflik, R. Scott Corpe, Timothy R. Young, Karolyn Buttle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Electron microscopic observations were made from tissues opposing titanium and ceramic root form and blade implants. The tissue was serially sectioned from the most coronal epithelium, through the gingival connective tissue, to the osseous support tissues, and directly to the most apical tissue support. Of the thousands of sections analyzed for each implant, 500 micrographs were routinely viewed for each of the implants analyzed by this study. Of the 120 total implants placed in 30 adult dogs, 60 were used for electron microscopy. Osseointegrated implants were often apposed by a mineralized matrix of collagenous fibers. The dense mineralized collagen matrix was often separated from the implant by only a ruthenium positive electron dense deposit 20 to 50 nanometers thick. Areas of the same implant were also opposed by an unmineralized collagen fiber stroma, which ranged in thickness, that contained osteoblasts. Interaction of the osteoblasts and the unmineralized collagen fibers resulted in the mineralization events of osteogenesis. Also opposing other areas of the same integrated implants were lacunar areas containing osteoclasts and vessels. These zones were similar to Howship's Lacunae. These results demonstrated that a normal homeostasis of catabolic osteoclastic activity and metabolic osteoblastic activity resulted in a dynamic implant-tissue interface. This biocompatible and dynamic support complex provides a construct for the long-term clinical serviceability of osseointegrated implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-350
Number of pages13
JournalImplant Dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Cellular actions
  • Ceramics
  • Commercially pure titanium
  • Osteogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery


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