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Biomineralization at Titanium Revealed by Correlative 4D Tomographic and Spectroscopic Methods

Journal article
Authors X. Y. Wang
B. Langelier
Furqan A. Shah
A. Korinek
M. Bugnet
A. P. Hitchcock
Anders Palmquist
K. Grandfield
Published in Advanced Materials Interfaces
Volume 5
Issue 14
ISSN 2196-7350
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Biomaterials
Language en
Keywords atom probe tomography, biomineralization, bone-implant interface, correlative electron tomography, atom-probe tomography, electron tomography, apatite nanocrystals, chemical tomography, bone, implants, interfaces, microscopy, osseointegration, osteopontin, Chemistry, Materials Science
Subject categories Biomaterials Science


At an implant biointerface, where an engineered material merges into a biological environment, complex biophysicochemical interactions occur. One typical biointerface is the bond between human bone and dental or orthopedic implants, which is based on the biomineralization of essential bone components such as hydroxyapatite, at the implant surface. However, the exact bonding mechanism between bone and implants is still unclear. The distribution of both the mineralized and organic components of bone at the interface, and their origins, requires improved characterization. Here, the first correlative characterization is reported using multiple-length-scale tomography and spectroscopy techniques to probe the chemical structure of the biointerface between human bone and commercial titanium dental implant down to the atomic scale in four dimensions (4D). The existence of an intervening transition zone bonding mature bone tissue is demonstrated to implant at multiple length scales, where the phase of bone mineral differs immediately adjacent to the implant and atomic-scale osseointegration is confirmed. The correlative 4D electron energy loss spectroscopy tomography and atom probe tomography workflow established herein is transferable to other applications in materials or biological sciences.

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