Coating titanium implants with artificial extracellular matrices based on collagen and chondroitin sulfate (CS) has been shown to enhance bone remodelling and de novo bone formation in vivo. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of estrogen deficiency and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the osseointegration of CS-modified Ti implants. 30 adult female, ovariectomized Wistar rats were fed either with an ethinyl-estradiol-rich diet (E) to simulate a clinical relevant HRT or with a genistein-rich diet (G) to test an alternative therapy based on nutritionally relevant phytoestrogens. Controls (C) received an estrogen-free diet. Uncoated titanium pins (Ti) or pins coated with type-I collagen and CS (Ti/CS) were inserted 8weeks after ovarectomy into the tibia. Specimens were retrieved 28days after implantation. Both the amount of newly formed bone and the affinity index (P<0.05) were moderately higher around Ti/CS implants as compared to uncoated Ti. The highest values were measured in the G-Ti/CS and E-Ti/CS groups, the lowest values for the E-Ti and G-Ti controls. Quantitative synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SRμCT) revealed the highest increase in total bone formation around G-Ti/CS as compared to C-Ti (P<0.01). The effects with respect to direct bone apposition were less pronounced with SRμCT. Using scanning nanoindentation, both the indentation modulus and the hardness of the newly formed bone were highest in the E-Ti/CS, G-Ti/CS and G-Ti groups as compared to C-Ti (P<0.05). Coatings with collagen and CS appear to improve both the quantity and quality of bone formed around Ti implants in ovarectomized rats. A simultaneous ethinyl estradiol- and genistein-rich diet seems to enhance these effects.
Keywords: Chondroitin sulfate; Estrogen replacement therapy; Osseointegration; Osteoporosis; Scanning nanoindentation.
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