Title: Role of photofunctionalization on Ti implant surface for osseointegration
Photofunctionalization on Ti implant surface is known to increase the hydrophilicity of the surface, leading to accelerated bone response to the surface. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the photofunctionalization effects for osseointegrationin vivo.The rabbit tibia model was used. Each rabbit received four implants; one experimental and one control implantwere placed at each tibia. The implants used in this study were 4.0 mm in diameter and 7 mm in length (Point Implant, Co., Seoul, Korea). The surfaces of four blasted implants, the experimental group, were irradiated with the ultraviolet C ray. Those of the remaining four blasted implants without irradiation served as control. After two weeks of implant insertion, the rabbits were sacrificed and the tibial bones were removed en bloc. The undecalcified specimens were prepared for light microscopic inspection. Bone-to-implant contact ratio (BIC) was measured for histomorphometry. Each measurement was performed at the best consecutive three threads. The Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to find any significant difference between the groups at the level of significance of 0.05. The mean BICs were 52.4% (10.5%) for the control group, and 44.8% (4.1%) for the experimental group. No significant difference was found in BIC between the groups. Photofunctionalization to increase the hydrophilic property of an implant surface seems to play an adjunctive role in the biologic responses while hydrophilicity is known to contribute to faster bone healing around an implant. Other surface characteristics including surface topography are considered to be more important although further investigations are definitely required.