A comparative study of ultrastructures of the interfaces between four kinds of surface-active ceramic and bone

J Biomed Mater Res. 1992 Nov;26(11):1419-32. doi: 10.1002/jbm.820261103.


The interfaces between four kinds of surface-active ceramic and bone were studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) using undecalcified specimens. The materials were Bioglass-type glass (Bioglass), Ceravital-type glass-ceramic (KGS), apatite- and wollastonite-containing glass-ceramic (A-W.GC) and hydroxyapatite (HA). Particles of these materials, ranging between about 100 and 300 microns in diameter, were implanted into rat tibiae, and specimens were prepared for observation at 8 weeks after implantation. All materials were observed to bond to bone through a collagen-free layer consisting of fine apatite crystals distinct from those in bone. The crystals of this apatite layer and those of bone were intermingled at their interface, suggesting chemical bonding. In Bioglass, which had only a glassy phase, several tens of microns of the material surface had changed to such an apatite layer. In KGS and A-W.GC, which had macrocrystals in the glassy phase, an intervening apatite layer about 0.5 micron thick was observed between the materials and bone. Furthermore, fine apatite crystals were also observed among the macrocrystals near the surface of the materials. In HA, which had no glassy phase, an intervening apatite layer was much less distinct and sometimes absent. These differences were considered to be attributable to the differences in chemical composition, crystallization, and solubility of the materials.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Bone and Bones / ultrastructure*
  • Ceramics*
  • Glass
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Rats
  • Surface Properties


  • Biocompatible Materials