• (Ti,Zr)O2 coating;
  • animal experiment;
  • biomaterials;
  • bone implant interaction;
  • zirconia implants



The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the osseointegration in rabbit tibiae of smooth and roughened powder injection moulded (PIM) zirconia implants with or without (Ti,Zr)O2 surface coatings.

Material and Methods

Twenty-five rabbits received four types of external hex implants with identical geometry on the tibiae: PIM zirconia implants, roughened PIM zirconia implants, (Ti,Zr)O2-coated PIM zirconia implants and (Ti,Zr)O2-coated roughened PIM zirconia implants. The surface characteristics of the four types of implants were evaluated. Removal torque tests and histomorphometric analyses were performed.


The (Ti,Zr)O2 coatings substantially changed the surface topography and chemical composition of the both type of PIM zirconia implants. There were statistically significant differences in the bone to implant contact ratios and removal torque values (RT) among the tested implant types (p < 0.001). The histological response favoured the coated surface at smooth PIM zirconia implants. The removal torque values favoured the rough surface whether coated or uncoated.


Within the limit of this study, the (Ti,Zr)O2 coated PIM zirconia implants, both smooth and rough, showed enhanced histological response (bone to implant contact) compared with uncoated ones. On the other hand, the mechanical anchorage (RT) was higher for rough surface implants, coated or uncoated.