The biointegration profile of fiber-reinforced plates following tibial implantation in sheep

Nicolette D. Jackson*, Abraham Nyska, Ezequiel Palmanovich, Meir Nyska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Biointegrative, mineral fiber-reinforced bone fixation implants recently introduced in orthopedic surgery have expanded available treatment options for fractures and bone deformities. This new technology aims to address the disadvantages of permanent metallic implants while overcoming inherent concerns of adverse inflammatory reactions when using polymer-based orthopedic implants. The purpose of this double-arm preclinical study was to evaluate the safety, biocompatibility, and biointegration of fiber-reinforced plates, following implantation on the tibias of eight sheep. Left tibias underwent periosteal elevation, allowing for implant attachment directly onto the cortical surface; right tibia plates were implanted over intact periosteum. Microcomputed tomography and histopathology were performed at 13, 26, 52, 78, 104, and 134 weeks postimplantation. All animals were evaluated clinically at each time point, with no evidence of local adverse reactions. Histopathology demonstrated anti-inflammatory M2-like macrophages and multinucleated giant cells corresponding to implant bioabsorption, similar for both groups at each time point, and indicating expected implant biocompatibility. Inflammatory cells (i.e., eosinophils, lymphophyctes, plasma cells, and M1-like macrophages) were absent throughout the study. The bioabsorption process had started at 13 W, with the highest rate at 52–78 W. At 104 W, only residual polymer material was left (∼5% of implant area). Low amounts of mineral fibers were evident at 78 W and were absent (fully remodeled) by 104 W. At 134 W, implants at both sites were fully bioabsorbed. In conclusion, these new fiber-reinforced implants demonstrated bone remodeling and complete biointegration, with no adverse tissue response. Clinical significance: In this double-arm, 2.5-year study, a biointegrative, fiber-reinforced plate implanted on the tibias of sheep was fully absorbed within 134 weeks, with no adverse tissue reaction. Bioabsorption was similar, with or without periosteal elevation, mimicking conditions like those observed in traumatic injuries disrupting the periosteum, open reduction and internal fixation, or minimally invasive surgeries. These results demonstrate the feasibility, versatility, and safety of this new class of biointegrative bone implants. This newly developed technology avoids the complications of the removal of metal implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-372
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Ossio Ltd.
Robin Turcotte


    • M2 macrophages
    • bioabsorption
    • biocompatibility
    • biointegrative
    • mineral fiber-reinforced plate


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