Electrical implications of corrosion for osseointegration of titanium implants

R. A. Gittens, R. Olivares-Navarrete, R. Tannenbaum, B. D. Boyan, Z. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The success rate of titanium implants for dental and orthopedic applications depends on the ability of surrounding bone tissue to integrate with the surface of the device, and it remains far from ideal in patients with bone compromised by physiological factors. The electrical properties and electrical stimulation of bone have been shown to control its growth and healing and can enhance osseointegration. Bone cells are also sensitive to the chemical products generated during corrosion events, but less is known about how the electrical signals associated with corrosion might affect osseointegration. The metallic nature of the materials used for implant applications and the corrosive environments found in the human body, in combination with the continuous and cyclic loads to which these implants are exposed, may lead to corrosion and its corresponding electrochemical products. The abnormal electrical currents produced during corrosion can convert any metallic implant into an electrode, and the negative impact on the surrounding tissue due to these extreme signals could be an additional cause of poor performance and rejection of implants. Here, we review basic aspects of the electrical properties and electrical stimulation of bone, as well as fundamental concepts of aqueous corrosion and its electrical and clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1389-1397
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • biopotentials
  • bone
  • corrosion
  • electrical stimulation
  • osseointegration of dental and orthopedic implants
  • titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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