Recently published data indicate that immobilized N-bisphosphonate enhances the pullout force and energy uptake of implanted stainless steel screws at 2 weeks in rat tibia. This study compares titanium screws with and without a bisphosphonate coating in the same animal model. The screws were first coated with an approximately 100-nm thick crosslinked fibrinogen film. Pamidronate was subsequently immobilized into this film via EDC/NHS-activated carboxyl groups within the fibrinogen matrix, and finally another N-bisphosphonate, ibandronate, was physically adsorbed. The release kinetics of immobilized (14)C-alendronate was measured in buffer up to 724 h and showed a 60% release within 8 h. Mechanical tests demonstrated a 32% (p = 0.04) and 48% (p = 0.02) larger pullout force and energy until failure after 2 weeks of implantation, compared to uncoated titanium screws. A control study with physically adsorbed pamidronate showed no effect on mechanical fixation, probably due to a too small adsorbed amount. We conclude that the fixation of titanium implants in bone can be improved by fibrinogen matrix-bound bisphosphonates.
(c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.