Early bone apposition to hydrophilic and hydrophobic titanium implant surfaces: a histologic and histomorphometric study in minipigs




The first objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the impact of the hydrophilicity on the early phases of osseointegration. The second objective was to compare two hydrophilic implant surfaces with different geometries, surface roughness, and technologies achieving hydrophilicity.

Material and methods

Twelve weeks after extraction, all four quadrants of nine minipigs received three dental implants, alternating between hydrophilic microrough surfaces (INICELL and SLActive) and a conventional hydrophobic microrough surface. After 5, 10, and 15 days of submerged healing, ground sections were prepared and subjected to histologic and histomorphometric analysis.


The histologic analysis revealed a similar healing pattern among the hydrophilic and hydrophobic implant surfaces, with extensive bone formation occurring between day 5 and day 10. With BIC values of greater than 50% after 10 days, all examined surfaces indicated favorable osseointegration at this very early point in healing. At day 15, the mean new bone-to-implant contact (newBIC) of one hydrophilic surface (INICELL; 55.8 ± 14.4%) was slightly greater than that of the hydrophobic microrough surface (40.6 ± 20.2%). At day 10 and day 15, an overall of 21% of the implants had to be excluded from analysis due to inflammations primarily caused by surgical complications.


Substantial bone apposition occurs between day 5 and day 10. The data suggest that the hydrophilic surface can provoke a slight tendency toward increased bone apposition in minipigs after 15 days. A direct comparison of two hydrophilic surfaces with varying geometries is of limited relevance.