In the last few years, optimal fixation of orthopaedic
implants evolved to preserve host bone and
enhance tissue integration by surface modifications, including
the use of coatings with bioactive ceramics. In
this work, we fabricated a novel bone-like porous bioactive
glass-ceramic coating on curved alumina substrates;
good joining between the two components was possible
due to the interposition of a glass-derived dense interlayer.
The mechanical properties of the porous glass-ceramic,
which mimics the 3-D pore architecture of cancellous
bone, are adequate for load-bearing applications (compressive
strength of 19 MPa and fracture energy around
6.5×10−4 J mm−3, with a total porosity of 62 vol.%). In vitro
bioactive behaviour was investigated by testing the samples
in simulated body fluid and by evaluating the apatite
formation on the surface and pore struts of the trabecular
coating, which is a key precondition for in vivo osteointegration.
The concepts disclosed in the present study could
find interesting application in the context of orthopaedic
implants, with particular reference to full-ceramic acetabular
cups for hip joint prosthesis.