Titanium implant impairment and surrounding muscle cell death following neuro-myoelectrostimulation: An in vivo study

  • Lecocq Mathieu
  • Felix Marie-Solenne
  • Linares Jean-Marc
  • Chaves-Jacob Julien
  • Decherchi Patrick
  • Dousset Erick


Electrical currents have deleterious effects on biomedical metallic implants. However, following arthroplasty, neuro-myoelectrostimulation (NMES) is often used in patient rehabilitation. Such a rehabilitation technique could compromise patient recovery through deleterious effects on metallic alloys and biological tissues. The purpose of our study was to assess the effects of NMES on a Ti6Al4V implant placed in a rat tibial crest and the surrounding muscle tissues. This in vivo study allowed to bring to the fore the prosthesis behavior under mechanical and electromagnetic loads induced by NEMS stimulation. After 3 weeks, implant-to-bone adhesion significantly decreased in stimulated animals compared with nonstimulated animals. Surface mapping indicated titanium implant degradation after NMES. Furthermore, NMES alone did not induce muscle damage contrary to that found in implanted animals. The muscle damage rate was significantly higher in implanted and stimulated animals compared with implanted-only animals. It seems obvious that rehabilitation programs using the NMES technique could induce early deterioration of biomaterial employed for surgical implants. Clinicians should reconsider the use of NMES as a rehabilitation technique for patients with titanium prostheses. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 103B: 1594-1601, 2015.