Previously, small phagocytosable particles of high density polyethylene (HDPE) but not Ti6-Al4-V alloy, at a concentration of 10(8) particles/mL inhibited net bone formation in vivo after 3 weeks in the bone harvest chamber (BHC). These findings reflected the effects of particles during the phase of bone ingrowth. In this study, we tested whether these effects persisted or were different during the phase of bone maturation and remodeling. BHCs were bilaterally implanted in mature male NZW rabbits. After a 6-week period for osseointegration, the contents of the chamber were harvested and discarded. One percent sodium hyaluronate, the carrier, was then placed within the canal of the chambers bilaterally and the tissue within the chambers was harvested 3 weeks later. HDPE particles were then inserted unilaterally for a 3-week period, followed by Ti6-Al4-V for 3 weeks, HDPE for 6 weeks, and Ti6-Al4-V for 6 weeks. The side chosen for each treatment was switched consecutively; the nonimplanted, contralateral chamber served as a control. At 3 weeks the control treatments yielded trabeculae of woven bone in a fibrovascular stroma. By 6 weeks, the peripheral trabeculae were thicker, and a central marrow cavity was developing. Bone ingrowth was less with HDPE particles at 3 and 6 weeks compared to controls. Ti6-Al4-V particles did not inhibit bone ingrowth at 3 weeks but showed a trend at 6 weeks. The characteristics of particles affect the differentiation, maturation, and remodeling of mesenchymal tissue differently.
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