In vitro assessment of bone-implant interface using an acoustic emission transmission test

Zannar Ossi, Wael Abdou, Robert L. Reuben, Richard J. Ibbetson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this in vitro study was to determine the feasibility of monitoring the primary stability of dental implants using a simple transmission test with acoustic emission. Forty screw-shaped titanium dental implants were installed in the middle of 10 fresh bovine ribs obtained from different animals. The implants were divided into two size groups, 8.5 mm x 3.5 mm and 13 mm x 4.5 mm, and were inserted in either tight- or loose-fitting conditions. For each implant, pulses of acoustic energy were injected at the centre of a customised gold abutment 3 mm in height using a standard pencil lead break source (Hsu-Nielsen source). A total of 30 acoustic emission recordings were made for each implant in which the transmitted energy was measured on the surface of the bone using an acoustic sensor mounted at the middle of the rib. The transmitted acoustic energy for the implants under tight-fitting conditions was significantly higher than for the loose-fitting for both sizes of implant. The acoustic emission energy values for the 13 mm implants were also higher than for the 8.5 mm implants. The results indicate that implants with good primary stability (tight-fitting) had higher acoustic emission energy than implants where primary stability was poor (loose-fitting). The longer and wider implants produced higher acoustic emission energy than shorter and narrower implants. Together, the findings suggest that a simple transmission test, properly calibrated, should be able to assess the quality of the contact between the implant and the bone in the clinical situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Titanium dental implants
  • implant primary stability
  • osseointegration
  • acoustic emission


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