Bone, cartilage, and vascular implants and prosthetics used by surgeons all have very carefully engineered levels of collagen cross-linking. This chemical manipulation confers both advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage of an increased degree of cross-linking is a greater degree of fibroblast encapsulation and therefore and increased resistance to enzymatic breakdown. In layman’s terms, it is harder for the body “to digest the implant.”
The disadvantage is that cross-linking prevents cellular infiltration of the implant, thus preventing incorporation and the body from remodeling tissues to incorporate. In layman’s terms, it is less likely the implant “will take.”
The optimum level of collagen cross-linking is unfortunately unclear due to the absence of long-term clinical experience and research data.