Identification of the strains and the strain changes caused by implants is critical to the understanding of bone remodeling and can identify design changes needed to prevent bone loss near orthopedic implants. Calcium phosphate ceramic (CPC) coated strain gauges have been developed to allow long-term in vivo strain measurements. Previously used cyanoacrylate-bonded gauges have uncharacterizable sensing accuracy because the adhesive is resorbed from the instant it is placed in vivo. In this study CPC-coated strain gauges were used to measure physiologically 'normal' bone strains collected from the proximal femora of dogs at a series of gait speeds and the postmortem sensing accuracy of the gauges was evaluated. Three male dogs were surgically implanted with up to six wired CPC-coated strain gauges placed around the circumference of their proximal femora. The dogs were trained to run on a treadmill, and in vivo strain measurements were collected following a 12-week period. The animals were tetracyline labeled and then euthanized and their femora explanted. Gauges were attached with cyanoacrylate to the intact contralateral control femora in the same position as the CPC-coated gauges on the test femora. Both femora were tested in cantilever bending to assess the functionality of the gauges and quality of the CPC-bone bond. After testing, all bones were embedded, sectioned, and ground. Sections from each femur were stained with mineralized bone stain and examined with transmitted and ultraviolet light to assess bone formation. Additional sections were examined with backscattered electron microscopy to confirm bone bonding to coatings. Wired gauges attached with the CPC coatings measured strain patterns during gait at several treadmill speeds. Patterns were similar and peak strains the same over a 2-week period. Mechanical testing showed bonding of CPC-coated gauges, and histologic examination showed intimate contact between gauge coatings and bone surfaces. Further development of CPC-bonded strain gauges is expected to result in a measurement system that provides ease of placement, and consistent longer term bone strain measurements with characterizable accuracy.
- Ingrowth/hard tissue
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