Assessing osseointegration of metallic implants with boronized surface treatment

Lukasz Witek, Nick Tovar, Christopher D. Lopez, Jonathan Morcos, Michelle Bowers, Roumiana S. Petrova, Paulo G. Coelho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Modification of endosteal implants through surface treatments have been investigated to improve osseointegration. Boronization has demonstrated favorable mechanical properties, but limited studies have assessed translational, in vivo outcomes. This study investigated the effect of implant surface boronization on bone healing.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Two implant surface roughness profiles (acid etched, machined) in CP titanium (type II) alloy implants were boronized by solid-state diffusion until 10-15µm boron coating was achieved. The surface-treated implants were placed bilaterally into 5 adult sheep ilia for three and six weeks. Four implant groups were tested: boronized machined (BM), boronized acid-etched (BAA), control machined (CM), and control acid-etched (CAA). Osseointegration was quantified by calculating bone to implant contact (BIC) and bone area fraction occupancy (BAFO).

RESULTS: Both implant types treated with boronization had BIC values not statistically different from machined control implants at t=3 weeks, and significantly less than acid-etched control (p<0.02). BAFO values were not statistically different for all 3-week groups except machined control (significantly less at p <0.02). BAFO had a significant downward trend from 3 to 6 weeks in both boronized implant types (p<0.03) while both control implant types had significant increases in BIC and BAFO from 3 to 6 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS: Non-decalcified histology depicted intramembranous-like healing/remodeling in bone for controls, but an absence of this dynamic process in bone for boronized implants. These findings are inconsistent with in vitro work describing bone regenerative properties of elemental Boron and suggests that effects of boron on in vivo bone healing warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere311-7
JournalMedicina Oral Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Acid-etched
  • Boronization
  • Implants
  • In vivo
  • Machined
  • Osseointegration
  • Solid-state diffusion
  • Bone Regeneration
  • Dental Prosthesis Design
  • Animals
  • Surface Properties
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous
  • Titanium
  • Sheep
  • Dental Implants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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