Enhancement of implant osseointegration by high-frequency low-magnitude loading

Xiaolei Zhang, Antonia Torcasio, Katleen Vandamme, Toru Ogawa, G. Harry van Lenthe, Ignace Naert, Joke Duyck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mechanical loading is known to play an important role in bone remodelling. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of high- and low-frequency axial loading, applied directly to the implant, on peri-implant bone healing and implant osseointegration. Methodology: Titanium implants were bilaterally installed in rat tibiae. For every animal, one implant was loaded (test) while the other one was not (control). The test implants were randomly divided into 8 groups according to 4 loading regimes and 2 experimental periods (1 and 4 weeks). The loaded implants were subject to an axial displacement. Within the high- (HF, 40 Hz) or low-frequency (LF, 8 Hz) loading category, the displacements varied 2-fold and were ranked as low- or high-magnitude (LM, HM), respectively. The strain rate amplitudes were kept constant between the two frequency groups. This resulted in the following 4 loading regimes: 1) HF-LM, 40 Hz-8 μm; 2) HF-HM, 40 Hz-16 μm; 3) LF-LM, 8 Hz-41 μm; 4) LF-HM, 8 Hz-82 μm. The tissue samples were processed for resin embedding and subjected to histological and histomorphometrical analyses. Data were analyzed statistically with the significance set at p<0.05. Principal Findings: After loading for 4 weeks, HF-LM loading (40 Hz-8 μm) induced more bone-to-implant contact (BIC) at the level of the cortex compared to its unloaded control. No significant effect of the four loading regimes on the peri-implant bone fraction (BF) was found in the 2 experimental periods. Conclusions: The stimulatory effect of immediate implant loading on bone-to-implant contact was only observed in case of high-frequency (40 Hz) low-magnitude (8 μm) loading. The applied load regimes failed to influence the peri-implant bone mass.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere40488
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul 10


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