Ultrastructural analyses of the attachment (bonding) zone between bone and implanted biomaterials

D. E. Steflik, R. S. Corpe, F. T. Lake, T. R. Young, A. L. Sisk, G. R. Parr, P. J. Hanes, D. J. Berkery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This report presents transmission electron and high voltage transmission electron microscopic observations of bone and associated remodeling tissues directly interfacing with endosteal dental implants. Undecalcified interfacial tissues were serially sectioned from mandibular samples encasing 60 implants placed into 30 dogs. Two-dimensional ultrastructural analyses and three-dimensional stereology showed that osteogenesis adjacent to dental implants is a dynamic interaction of osseous cells and a collagenous fiber matrix. This study showed that the interfacial bone consists of a mineralized collagen fiber matrix associated with an inorganic (hydroxylapatite) matrix. This study suggested that an unmineralized collagen fiber matrix initially is laid down directly at the implant surface, and that this matrix then is mineralized. Osteoblasts interacted with this matrix, eventually becoming encased within developing lacunae during the remodeling process. This process formed the cellular (osteocyte) aspects of the developed bone. Osteocyte processes extended through canaliculi directly to the implant surface. Apparently, these processes also were entrapped within canaliculi during the mineralization events. At times, these processes paralleled the implant surface. The bone-implant interfacial zone was primarily fibrillar (both mineralized and unmineralized) in morphology, with an electron-dense, ruthenium positive deposition. This electron-dense material was approximately 20 to 50 nanometers in thickness, and only this thin layer separated the remodeled mineralized bone from the implant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-620
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 1998


  • Bone remodeling
  • Bone-implant interface
  • High voltage electron microscopy
  • Osteogenesis
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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