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Important Use Of Tantalum In Orthopedics

Tantalum 09/09/2020

the important use of tantalum in orthopedics

Important Use Of Tantalum In Orthopedics

Porous tantalum: A new biomaterial in orthopedic surgery

Researches are going on regarding the use of artificial porous materials for bone defect, highlighting the clinical importance of research in this field.

Porous tantalum has become an attractive biomaterial in several orthopedic applications due to excellent biocompatibility and biomaterial properties.

This transition metal has high volumetric porosity (75%–80%), high coefficient of friction, and low modulus of elasticity (3 MPa) comparable to cancellous bone or subchondral bone.

The tantalum has a similar appearance to the cancellous bone and is safe to use in vivo as evidenced by the use in orthopedic surgery.

Currently, tantalum has been used in several clinical orthopedic applications including hip and knee arthroplasty, spine fusion, osteonecrosis, cranioplasty, foot and ankle surgery, and tumor reconstructive surgery.

Porous tantalum has the ability to form a self-passivating surface oxide layer which leads to the formation of a bone-like apatite coating in vivo and affords excellent bone and fibrous in-growth properties allowing for rapid and substantial bone and soft tissue attachment.

The chapter discusses the biomaterial properties and orthopedic applications of porous tantalum.

The use of tantalum is well established in orthopedic surgery.

and outcomes of tantalum in soft tissue re-attachment surgery and to highlight important areas ...

Current evidence and future directions for research into the use of tantalum in soft tissue re-attachment surgery

Porous Tantalum and Titanium in Orthopedics

Porous Ti is considered to be an ideal graft material in orthopedic and ... the density of about 16.6 g/cm3 makes it hard to use as an orthopedic implant on the clinic. ... of osteogenic differentiation, play important roles in promoting bone ...

Porous Ti is considered to be an ideal graft material in orthopedic and dental surgeries due to its similar spatial structures and mechanical properties to cancellous bone.

In this work, to overcome the bioinertia of Ti, Ta-implanted entangled porous titanium (EPT) was constructed by plasma immersion ion implantation & deposition (PIII&D) method.

Ca-implanted and unimplanted EPTs were investigated as control groups.

Although no difference was found in surface topography and mechanical performances, both Ca- and Ta-implanted groups had better effects in promoting MG-63 cell viability, proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization than those of the unimplanted group.

The expression of osteogenic-related markers examined by qRT-PCR and western blotting was upregulated in Ca- and Ta-implanted groups.

Moreover, the Ta-implanted EPT group could reach a higher level of these effects than that of the Ca-implanted group.

Enhanced osseointegration of both Ca- and Ta-implanted EPT implants was demonstrated through in vivo experiments, including micro-CT evaluation, push-out test, sequential fluorescent labeling, and histological observation.

However, the Ta-implanted group possessed a more stable and continuous osteogenic activity.

Our results suggest that Ta-implanted EPT can be developed as one of the highly efficient graft material for bone reconstruction situations.

Along with the popularization of orthopedic procedures, such as knee or hip arthroplasty, the amount of revision surgeries is booming in recent years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Severe bone defects usually came as the most difficult challenge in these revision cases.

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To deal with it, metal augment is commonly used as graft material.

Titanium (Ti) and its alloys have been used as implants for the favorable mechanical features and good biocompatibility.

However, implantation of Ti prosthesis frequently causes bone atrophy and reabsorption due to the high elastic modulus of Ti over 100 GPa 6.

In contrast, spatial structures and mechanical properties of the porous Ti are similar to those of cancellous bone, thus providing great potential for bone reconstruction 7, 8, 9.

Besides the physical advantages, to be applicable to bone substitutes or bulk structural materials, porous Ti also requires sufficient abilities in inducing surface osseointegration around implant and bone growth into the inner pores of materials.

However, the inherent bioinertia of Ti cannot meet these requirements 10, 11.

Therefore, surface modifications with some bioactive ions, such as calcium (Ca) 12, zinc (Zn) 13, 14, hafnium (Hf) 15, and strontium (Sr) 16, have been applied to improve the biological performances of porous Ti 17, 18, 19.

Among the various surface modification techniques, plasma immersion ion implantation & deposition (PIII&D), which has been thought to be a non-line-of-sight method particularly suitable for biomedical products with complex spatial structures 20, 21, 22, is an effective method to improve the osteogenic activity by implanting osteoinductive elements into the surface layers of base materials 23, 24, 25, 26.

In our previous research, Ca modified Ti by PIII&D efficiently promoted osteoblasts adhesion, proliferation, maturation, mineralization, and new bone formation in early times 27.

Ca implanted Ti materials also has beneficial effects in promoting biocompatibility, oxygen affinity, and osseointegration 28, 29, 30, 31.

However, Ca cathode is sensitive to the atmosphere and suffers from poor stability.

This will cause storage and usage problems in quality management for future medical manufacture.

These concerns, therefore, raise the prospect that other stable but active elements seemed as attractive as options.

The stable chemical element Tantalum (Ta) can stably exist in the surface layers of base materials.

The stable Ta2O5 protective film can provide better corrosion resistance than that of TiO2 film 32, 33.

Interestingly, Ta is one of the promising materials in promoting surface osseointegration and bone ingrowth 32, 34, 35, 36.

The formation of Ta–OH groups can facilitate the absorption of calcium and phosphate ions, thus enhancing osteoblasts adhesion, proliferation and differentiation, and osseointegration 37, 38, 39.

However, Ta has an obvious shortage of strength bearing 40, and the large modulus over 186GPa and density about 16.6 g/cm3 make it hard to use as orthopedic implant on clinic 34.

The Use of Porous Tantalum for Reconstructing Bone Loss in Orthopedic Surgery

Part of the Springer Series in Biomaterials Science and Engineering book series (SSBSE, volume 3)


Porous tantalum, a novel biomaterial, was approved for use in orthopedic surgery by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997.

Several preclinical and experimental studies have demonstrated excellent biocompatibility with physical, mechanical, and tissue ingrowth properties conducive for enhanced osseointegration and superior structural integrity.

Porous tantalum has high volumetric porosity (75–80 %).

The modulus of elasticity of tantalum (3 Gpa) compares favorably to cancellous bone (1.2 GPa) or subchondral bone (2 GPa).

Porous tantalum also has a high coefficient of friction with a high resistance to compression (50–80 Mpa) and rotational deformity (40–60 Mpa).

99.99 Pure Tantalum Ta Granule

Tantalum has been used in a wide array of clinical applications in orthopedics including primary and revision joint replacement, tumor reconstructive surgery, spine fusion, management of osteonecrosis of the femoral head, and foot and ankle surgery.

Recent studies have demonstrated excellent clinical and radiographic outcomes, even in the presence of an extensive bone loss in hip and knee reconstructive surgeries.

Its use in spine surgeries and osteonecrosis of the hip has been associated with mixed clinical results.

Further clinical studies are necessary to establish its role and refine its indications in specific orthopedic applications and determine whether the theoretical advantages of porous tantalum can provide long-term biological fixation and stability.

This chapter presents a synopsis of the biomaterial properties and preclinical and clinical studies of porous tantalum in orthopedic surgery.

Porous tantalum Hip replacement Knee replacement Spine fusion Osteonecrosis Bone ingrowth Acetabular components Tantalum augment

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