Influence of material and microtopography on the development of local infection in vivo: experimental investigation in rabbits

Int J Artif Organs. 2009 Sep;32(9):663-70. doi: 10.1177/039139880903200916.


Polishing the surface of internal fracture fixation (IFF) implant materials can ease implant removal and reduce irritation to gliding tissues by reducing soft tissue adhesion and bony overgrowth. Thus, polishing the surface of these implants is expected to have significant clinical benefit in certain situations. The aim of the present study was to determine if polishing the surface of an IFF device influences susceptibility to infection. The local infection rate associated with 4-hole 2.0 mm Synthes locking compression plates (LCPs) composed of clinically available commercially pure titanium (cpTi) and titanium aluminium niobium (TAN) in their standard microrough form was compared with that of their test polished equivalents and also to clinically available electropolished stainless steel (EPSS). The LCPs were fixed in locking mode onto the tibia of mature, female New Zealand White rabbits and a clinical strain of Staphylococcus aureus was added to the implantation site. Twenty eight days after surgery the rabbits were euthanized and assessed for infection. The rank order based on descending ID50 was; polished TAN, standard TAN, standard cpTi, EPSS and finally polished cpTi, however, the ID50 values did not differ greatly between the groups with the same material. Using the LCP model in locking mode, polishing the surface of both cpTi and TAN was not found to influence the susceptibility to infection in our animal model.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Plates / adverse effects*
  • Dental Alloys / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / adverse effects*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / microbiology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Rabbits
  • Stainless Steel / chemistry*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity*
  • Surface Properties
  • Tibia / surgery*


  • Dental Alloys
  • titanium-niobium-aluminum alloy
  • Stainless Steel