Swedish physician and professor of anatomy Per-Ingvar Brånemark is known as the pioneer of osseointegration, a term he coined and popularized. Osseointegration is the anchorage and integration of an implant in living bone by the formation of bony tissue around the implant. Today, it is a standard dental method and is frequently used in reconstructive surgery.
Brånemark discovered the technique when he was studying blood circulation. As part of an experiment, he inserted a titanium chamber in a rabbit's leg in order to study blood tissue, with plans to remove the chamber for re-use. Unexpectedly, he found that the titanium fused and integrated with the bone without any sign of rejection. Realizing the implications of this, Brånemark continued his research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He performed the first successful dental implant in a human in 1965 and eventually devised a complete system of implant posts and instruments as well as training for implementation.
Brånemark changed the field of implant technology, and innovative bone-anchored restorative solutions have improved the quality of millions of people's lives around the world. Titanium is now commonly used in knee and joint replacements, prostheses for the head and face, veterinary applications, and even bone-anchored hearing aids.
Brånemark was educated at Lund University.