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Fibers 2016, 4(1), 1;

Carbon Fiber Biocompatibility for Implants

Departments of Biomaterials and Restorative Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
Academic Editor: Jonathan Phillips
Received: 15 October 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 8 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1514 KB, uploaded 8 January 2016]   |  


Carbon fibers have multiple potential advantages in developing high-strength biomaterials with a density close to bone for better stress transfer and electrical properties that enhance tissue formation. As a breakthrough example in biomaterials, a 1.5 mm diameter bisphenol-epoxy/carbon-fiber-reinforced composite rod was compared for two weeks in a rat tibia model with a similar 1.5 mm diameter titanium-6-4 alloy screw manufactured to retain bone implants. Results showed that carbon-fiber-reinforced composite stimulated osseointegration inside the tibia bone marrow measured as percent bone area (PBA) to a great extent when compared to the titanium-6-4 alloy at statistically significant levels. PBA increased significantly with the carbon-fiber composite over the titanium-6-4 alloy for distances from the implant surfaces of 0.1 mm at 77.7% vs. 19.3% (p < 10−8) and 0.8 mm at 41.6% vs. 19.5% (p < 10−4), respectively. The review focuses on carbon fiber properties that increased PBA for enhanced implant osseointegration. Carbon fibers acting as polymer coated electrically conducting micro-biocircuits appear to provide a biocompatible semi-antioxidant property to remove damaging electron free radicals from the surrounding implant surface. Further, carbon fibers by removing excess electrons produced from the cellular mitochondrial electron transport chain during periods of hypoxia perhaps stimulate bone cell recruitment by free-radical chemotactic influences. In addition, well-studied bioorganic cell actin carbon fiber growth would appear to interface in close contact with the carbon-fiber-reinforced composite implant. Resulting subsequent actin carbon fiber/implant carbon fiber contacts then could help in discharging the electron biological overloads through electrochemical gradients to lower negative charges and lower concentration. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon fiber; conductivity; resistivity; biocompatible; implant carbon fiber; conductivity; resistivity; biocompatible; implant

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Petersen, R. Carbon Fiber Biocompatibility for Implants. Fibers 2016, 4, 1.

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