The use of additive manufacturing in medical applications has become more prevalent over the last decade. Studies have proved that reconstruction plates with a mesh structure enhance the biocompatibility and bone-ingrowth formation. However, limited studies have been reported in the customization and in vivo clinical assessment of mesh implants. The purpose of this study was to investigate the surgical treatment and implant fitting accuracy using three different reconstruction plates. Fifteen goats were divided into one control and three experimental groups (Groups 1, 2, and 3) with five in each group. An experimental segmental defect was created on these animals and was adopted with customized electron beam melting reconstruction titanium plates with mesh in Group 1 and without mesh in Group 2 and commercial reconstruction plate in Group 3. All the animals were subjected to radiographic analysis before and after surgery. The subjected animals were sacrificed after 3 months and the electron beam melting reconstruction plates were compared with the commercial plate based on clinical and histology analysis and implant fitting accuracy. Both the electron beam melting reconstruction plates (with mesh and without mesh) and commercial plates survived the three months post-operation, revealing good wound-healing with new bone formation and without any foreign-body reaction. The electron beam melting reconstructed plate with mesh (Group 1) was found to have a better implant fitting when compared to the other two groups. The average discrepancy between Groups 2 and 3 was not significant. Certainly, the commercial plate (Group 3) was found to have the least accuracy as compared to other electron beam melting reconstruction plates (Group 1 and Group 2). Custom design electron beam melting fabricated reconstruction plates possessed better functionality, aesthetic outcome, and long-term biocompatibility when compared to commercial plates. Animal results indicated that the electron beam melting plates with mesh (Group 1) were superior in comparison to the other two groups due to its ability to provide better bone-in-growth and osseointegration on its porous microstructure.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited