Osteocytes as indicators of bone quality- multiscale structure-composition characterisation of the bone-implant interface
The research and dissertation in brief
Furqan Ali Shah dissertation concerns bone healing around metal implants (e.g., titanium and cobalt chromium) for dental and orthopaedic applications, and understanding osseointegration in terms of bone quality, with a focus on the role of osteocytes. In his work, he has studied commercially pure titanium (cp-Ti) implants with site-specific surface modification using a high-energy Nd:YAG laser, as well as 3D printed, macro-porous implants of titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) and cobalt chromium alloy (CoCr) manufactured using electron beam melting (EBM).
What clinical benefit or patient benefit will the result have
Osseointegration is generally studied in terms of the amount of bone formed around implants.
- It is possible that certain implant materials support the formation of large amounts of structurally inadequate or mechanically incompetent bone. Moreover, metal implants (due to their high stiffness) endure most of the functional/physiological loads while the peri-implant bone experiences stress-shielding due to lack of mechanical stimulation. In normal bone, lack of mechanical stimulation leads to decrease in the numbers of osteocytes. Osteocytes are aligned along the lamellar direction, and also exhibit a directional relationship with collagen fibres and bone apatite. Therefore, osteocytes can be used as structural markers for bone healing around currently available materials and novel implant materials, or 3D printed metals/alloys with macro-porous geometries, says Furqan Ali Shah