Osseointegration of 3D printed microalloyed CoCr implants—Addition of 0.04% Zr to CoCr does not alter bone material properties

Furqan A. Shah, Edvin Jergéus, Akihiko Chiba, Anders Palmquist

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Electron beam melting (EBM) is a three-dimensional (3D) printing technique for the production of metal structures where complex geometries with interconnected porosities can be built. Incorporation of as little as 0.04% Zr into the CoCr alloy can significantly improve the biomechanical anchorage of constructs fabricated by EBM. Here we investigate bone material properties, including microstructure and composition, adjacent to 3D printed CoCr implants with and without addition of 0.04% Zr, after 8 weeks of healing in the rabbit femur. In low amounts, zirconium addition does not alter the microstructure and extracellular matrix composition of bone formed adjacent to the surface of EBM manufactured implants. Bone ingrowth into surface irregularities of 3D printed CoCr and CoCr + Zr implants is seen. Extensive remodeling is also evident. Osteocytes attach directly on to the implant surface. The interfacial tissue at CoCr and CoCr + Zr has similar mineral crystallinity, apatite-to-collagen ratio, carbonate-to-phosphate ratio, Ca/P ratio, bone-implant contact, percentage porosity, and osteocyte density (N.Ot/B.Ar). Compared to the native bone, the mineral crystallinity of the interfacial tissue was lower while N.Ot/B.Ar was higher for both CoCr and CoCr + Zr. Overall, the results indicate that bone tissue adjacent to CoCr and CoCr + Zr implants is highly mature and exhibits comparable healing kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1655-1663
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun


  • 3D printing
  • CoCr
  • electron beam melting
  • osseointegration
  • zirconium


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