In the last few years, optimal fixation of orthopaedic implants evolved to preserve host bone and enhance tissue integration by surface modifications, including the use of coatings with bioactive ceramics. In this work, we fabricated a novel bone-like porous bioactive glass-ceramic coating on curved alumina substrates; good joining between the two components was possible due to the interposition of a glass-derived dense interlayer. The mechanical properties of the porous glass-ceramic, which mimics the 3-D pore architecture of cancellous bone, are adequate for load-bearing applications (compressive strength of 19 MPa and fracture energy around 6.5×10−4 J mm−3, with a total porosity of 62 vol.%). In vitro bioactive behaviour was investigated by testing the samples in simulated body fluid and by evaluating the apatite formation on the surface and pore struts of the trabecular coating, which is a key precondition for in vivo osteointegration. The concepts disclosed in the present study could find interesting application in the context of orthopaedic implants, with particular reference to full-ceramic acetabular cups for hip joint prosthesis.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.