The ultrastructural relationship between osteocytes and dental implants following osseointegration

Du, Zhibin, Ivanovski, Saso, Hamlet, Stephen M., Feng, Jian Quan, & Xiao, Yin (2016) The ultrastructural relationship between osteocytes and dental implants following osseointegration. Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research, 18(2), pp. 270-280.

View at publisher



Osteocytes, the most abundant cells in bone, havemultiple functions, including acting as mechanosensors and regulating mineralization. It is clear that osteocytes influence bone remodeling by controlling the differentiation and activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Determining the relationship between titanium implants and osteocytes may therefore benefit our understanding of the process of osseointegration.


The aim of this study was to visualize the ultrastructural relationship between osteocytes and the titanium implant surface following osseointegration in vivo.

Materials and Methods

Titanium implants were placed in the maxillary molar regions of eight female Sprague Dawley rats, 3 months old. The animals were sacrificed 8 weeks after implantation, and undecalcified tissue sections were prepared. Resin-cast samples were subsequently acid-etched with 37% phosphoric acid prior to examination using scanning electron microscopy.


Compared with mature bone, where the osteocytes were arranged in an ordered fashion, the osteocytes appeared less organized in the newly formed bone around the titanium implant. Further, a layer of mineralization with few organic components was observed on the implant surface. This study shows for the first time that osteocytes and their dendrites are directly connected with the implant surface. Conclusions: This study shows the direct anchorage of osteocytes via dendritic processes to a titanium implant surface in vivo. This suggests an important regulatory role for osteocytes and their lacunar-canalicular network in maintaining long-term osseointegration.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 85087
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: acid etching, implant, osseointegration, osteocyte, scanning electron microscopy, titanium
DOI: 10.1111/cid.12257
ISSN: 1708-8208
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > DENTISTRY (110500)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2015 02:43
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 01:14

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page