Can the hydroxyapatite-coated skin-penetrating abutment for bone conduction hearing implants integrate with the surrounding skin?

M. van Hoof*, S. Wigren, H. Duimel, P.H.M. Savelkoul, M. Flynn, R.J. Stokroos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: Percutaneous implants, such as bone conduction hearing implants, suffer from complications that include inflammation of the surrounding skin. A sealed skin abutment interface can prevent the ingress of bacteria, which should reduce the occurrence of peri-abutment dermatitis. It was hypothesized that a hydroxyapatite (HA) coated abutment in conjunction with soft tissue preservation surgery should enable integration with the adjacent skin. Previous research has confirmed that integration is never achieved with as-machined titanium abutments. Here, we investigate, in vivo, if skin integration is achievable in patients using a HA-coated abutment. Materials and methods: One titanium abutment (control) and one HA-coated abutment (case) together with the surrounding skin were surgically retrieved from two patients who had a medical indication for this procedure. Histological sections of the skin were investigated using light microscopy. The abutment was qualitatively analyzed using scanning electron microscopy. Results: The titanium abutment only had a partial and thin layer of attached amorphous biological material. The HA-coated abutment was almost fully covered by a pronounced thick layer of organized skin, composed of different interconnected structural layers. Conclusion: Proof-of-principle evidence that the HA-coated abutment can achieve integration with the surrounding skin was presented for the first time.
Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalFrontiers in Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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