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EPICAL™ - The non-coated bioactive calcium containing surface for improved osseointegration of the implants

Around 200.000 hip endoprostheses and 150.000 knee endoprostheses are implanted every year in Germany, with increasing tendency. The reasons for this are the increasing care of young patients and the growing life expectancy among the population. Postoperatively, an early mobility and activity is required by the patients. This leads to increasing requirements of the implants, including an early load stability, considerably longer lifetimes and higher mechanical stability. Therefore, it is the aim of the implant manufacturers, to increase, inter alia, the contact area between implant and bone and to shorten the healing stages by implant coatings.

For implant coatings, bioactive calcium phosphates are used much more often, as they provide a fast and long-lasting bony integration, where as classic calcium phosphate coatings bear the risk of flaking off from the implant body. The EPICAL™-reaction surface, developed at the Federal Institute of Material Research and Testing (BAM) in cooperation with Merete Medical GmbH, eliminates the risk of chipping and flaking.

With the creation of the EPICAL™-reaction surface, pure calcium is inserted into the titanium oxide layer. This results in a non-coated bioactive calcium incorporated implant surface from which the calcium is continuously dissolved out of after implantation.

Implants treated with EPICAL™ enable therewith a direct barrier-free access to the osteopromotive surface, stimulating the bone growth due to calcium release.

After a long-time of successful development, EPICAL™ is currently being used for cementless hip endoprostheses. EPICAL™ offers more safety and can support osseointegration due to the non-coated bioactive calcium incorporated surface.