Acid Etching and Plasma Sterilization Fail to Improve Osseointegration of Grit Blasted Titanium Implants

Mikkel Saksø*, Stig S Jakobsen, Henrik Saksø, Jørgen Baas, Thomas Jakobsen, Kjeld Søballe
Department of Orthopaedics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

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© Saksø 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 Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44, DK – 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; Tel: +45 8949 7471; Fax: +45 8949 7429; E-mail:


Interaction between implant surface and surrounding bone influences implant fixation. We attempted to improve the bone-implant interaction by 1) adding surface micro scale topography by acid etching, and 2) removing surface-adherent pro-inflammatory agents by plasma cleaning. Implant fixation was evaluated by implant osseointegration and biomechanical fixation.

The study consisted of two paired animal sub-studies where 10 skeletally mature Labrador dogs were used. Grit blasted titanium alloy implants were inserted press fit in each proximal tibia. In the first study grit blasted implants were compared with acid etched grit blasted implants. In the second study grit blasted implants were compared with acid etched grit blasted implants that were further treated with plasma sterilization. Implant performance was evaluated by histomorphometrical investigation (tissue-to-implant contact, peri-implant tissue density) and mechanical push-out testing after four weeks observation time.

Neither acid etching nor plasma sterilization of the grit blasted implants enhanced osseointegration or mechanical fixation in this press-fit canine implant model in a statistically significant manner.

Keywords:: Acid etching, biocompatibility, endotoxin, implant surgery, grit blasting, plasma sterilization, titanium.