Biomaterial integration in bone depends on bone remodelling at the bone-implant interface. Optimal balance of bone resorption by osteoclasts and bone deposition by osteoblasts is crucial for successful implantation, especially in orthopaedic surgery. Most studies examined osteoblast differentiation on biomaterials, yet few research has been conducted to explore the effect of different orthopaedic implants on osteoclast development. This review covers, in detail, the biology of osteoclasts, in vitro models of osteoclasts, and modulation of osteoclast activity by different implant surfaces, bio-ceramics, and polymers. Studies show that surface topography influence osteoclastogenesis. For instance, metal implants with rough surfaces enhanced osteoclast activity, while smooth surfaces resulted in poor osteoclast differentiation. In addition, surface modification of implants with anti-osteoporotic drug further decreased osteoclast activity. In bioceramics, osteoclast development depended on different chemical compositions. Strontium-incorporated bioceramics decreased osteoclast development, whereas higher concentrations of silica enhanced osteoclast activity. Differences between natural and synthetic polymers also modulated osteoclastogenesis. Physiochemical properties of implants affect osteoclast activity. Hence, understanding osteoclast biology and its response to the natural microarchitecture of bone are indispensable to design suitable implant interfaces and scaffolds, which will stimulate osteoclasts in ways similar to that of native bone.
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