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In Vitro Assessment of Bioactive Glass Coatings on Alumina/Zirconia Composite Implants for Potential Use in Prosthetic Applications

Baino, Francesco
Minguella-Canela, Joaquim
Korkusuz, Feza
Kankilic, Berna
Angeles Montealegre, Maria
Antonia De los Santos-Lopez, M.
Vitale-Brovarone, Chiara
Achieving the stable osteointegration of prosthetic implants is one of the great challenges of modern orthopedic surgery. The fixation of ceramic acetabular cups of hip joint prostheses is usually achieved using a metal shell provided with screws or pegs that penetrate into the host pelvic bone. The deposition of bioactive coatings on the implant surface to be put in contact with bone could be a valuable strategy to promote a more physiological osteointegration. In this work, bioactive glass porous coatings were manufactured on the top of alumina/zirconia composite implants by two different methods, i.e., sponge replication and laser cladding. The coated samples underwent immersion studies in Kokubo's simulated body fluid (SBF) to assess in vitro bioactivity and were found to exhibit an excellent hydroxyapatite-forming ability, which is key to allow bonding to bone. Biological tests using mesenchymal stem and osteoblast-like cells revealed the good biocompatibility of both types of materials. Furthermore, a higher level of mineralization was induced by the sponge-replicated coatings at 10 days. Overall, these results are highly promising and encourage further research on these materials.