Stainless steel screws coated with bisphosphonates gave stronger fixation and more surrounding bone. Histomorphometry in rats

Bone. 2008 Feb;42(2):365-71. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2007.10.013. Epub 2007 Dec 11.


Coating of stainless steel screws with bisphosphonate in a fibrinogen matrix leads to an enhancement of the pullout strength 2 weeks after insertion in rat tibiae. This effect then increases over time until at least 8 weeks. The pullout force reflects the mechanical properties of the bone within the threads, which acts as a screw nut. The aim of the present study was to find descriptive and morphometric histological correlates to the increased pullout strength. Because the bisphosphonates are applied via the implant surface, we also measured bone to implant contact and how far away from the surface any effects could be seen. Stainless steel screws underwent one of three treatments: uncoated control, controls coated with a layer of cross-linked fibrinogen, or screws further modified with bisphosphonates covalently linked and physically adsorbed to the fibrinogen layer. At 1 (n=33) and 8 (n=27) weeks, bone to implant contact and bone area density in the threads were measured, as well as bone area density at 250 and 500 microm from the outer edge of the threads. Additionally, removal torque for each screw treatment was measured at 2 weeks (n=28). At 8 weeks, the part of the bisphosphonate screw that was located in the marrow cavity had become surrounded with bone, whereas there was almost no bone surrounding the controls. The bone area density in the threads along the entire bisphosphonate screw was increased by 40% compared with uncoated controls, and at 250 microm distance it was more than doubled. At 1 week, coated screws had less implant-bone contact, but at 8 weeks there was no difference between uncoated and bisphosphonate-coated screws. The bisphosphonate screws had 50% increased removal torque at 2 weeks compared to uncoated screws. Howship's lacunae and osteoclasts were found near the screws with bisphosphonates at 8 weeks, suggesting that some bone remodeling took place near the implant, in spite of the presence of bisphosphonates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Bone Screws / supply & distribution*
  • Bone and Bones / cytology*
  • Bone and Bones / surgery*
  • Diphosphonates* / chemistry
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stainless Steel* / chemistry
  • Torque


  • Diphosphonates
  • Stainless Steel