Osteocyte density in the peri-implant bone of implants retrieved after different time periods (4 weeks to 27 years)

Adriano Piattelli, Luciano Artese, Enrico Penitente, Flavia Iaculli, Marco Degidi, Carlo Mangano, Jamil Awad Shibli, Paulo G. Coelho, Vittoria Perrotti, Giovanna Iezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bone tissue is characterized by a constant turnover in response to mechanical stimuli, and osteocytes play an essential role in bone mechanical adaptation. However, little to no information has been published regarding osteocyte density as a function of implantation time in vivo. The aim of this retrospective histological study was to evaluate the osteocyte density of the peri-implant bone in implants retrieved because of different reasons in a time period from 4 weeks to 27 years. A total of 18 samples were included in the present study. Specimens were divided into 3 groups depending on the loading history of the implants: loading between 4 weeks and 7 months (group 1); loading between 1 and 5 years (group 2); loading between 14 and 27 years (group 3). All the samples were histologically evaluated and osteocyte density was obtained using the ratio of the number of osteocytes to the bone-area (mm2). The osteocyte density values significantly increased in the Group 2 (1-5 years) compared with Group 1 (4 weeks-7 months), and significantly decreased in the Group 3 (14-27 years) compared to Group 2. No significant differences were detected between Group 1 and Group 3. The decrease in osteocyte density observed in samples that were in vivo for long periods of time under loading is possibly because of the fact that once the bone structure is well aligned and biomechanically competent, a lower number of osteocytes are necessary to keep the tissue homeostasis under loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • bone remodeling
  • dental implants
  • human retrieved implants
  • osteocyte
  • osteocyte density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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