An Ultrasound Assisted Anchoring Technique (BoneWelding® Technology) for Fixation of Implants to Bone – A Histological Pilot Study in Sheep

Jens D Langhoff*, 1, 2, Jan M Kuemmerle1, Joerg Mayer2, Urs Weber2, Milica Berra2, Jessika M Mueller3, Sabine B Kaestner4, Katalin Zlinszky1, Joerg A Auer1, Brigitte von Rechenberg1
1 Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Equine Hospital, Vetsuisse Faculty ZH, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 260, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2 WW Technology AG, Wagistr. 6, CH-8952 Schlieren, Switzerland
3 University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Horse Clinic, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany
4 University of Vseterinary Medicine Hannover, Small Animal Clinic, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany

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© Langhoff et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Equine Hospital, Vetsuisse Faculty ZH, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland; Tel: +41-76-432 27 38; Fax: +41-44-635 8917; E-mails:,


The BoneWelding® Technology offers new opportunities to anchor implants within bone. The technology melted the surface of biodegradable polymer pins by means of ultrasound energy to mould material into the structures of the predrilled bone. Temperature changes were measured at the sites of implantation in an in vitro experiment. In the in vivo part of the study two types of implants were implanted in the limb of sheep to investigate the biocompatibility of the method. One implant type was made of PL-DL-lactide (PLA), the second one was a titanium core partially covered with PLA. Healing period was 2 and 6 months, with 3 sheep per group. Bone samples were evaluated radiologically, histologically and histomorphometrically for bone remodeling and inflammatory reactions. Results demonstrated mild and short temperature increase during insertion. New bone formed at the implant without evidence of inflammatory reaction. The amount of adjacent bone was increased compared to normal cancellous bone. It was concluded that the BoneWelding® Technology proved to be a biocompatible technology to anchor biodegradable as well as titanium-PLA implants in bone.

Keywords: Implants, ultrasound, polylactide, histology, in vivo.