Gap Effect on the Heterogeneous Nucleation of Apatite on Thermally Oxidized Titanium Substrate
Apatite formation on the surface of materials in body environment is an essential condition to show osteoconduction after implantation in bony defects. This study reports the novel technique for providing the apatite-forming ability to titanium metals by only controlling the spatial gap and thermal oxidation. Two pieces of titanium thermally oxidized at 400 °C were set together like V-letter with varied mouth opening. They showed the formation of apatite on both facing surface after exposure to a simulated body fluid (SBF) proposed by Kokubo and his colleagues, when the gap was less than approximately 600 μm. Moreover, specimens with micro-grooves of 500 μm in depth and 200-1000 μm in width was able to form apatite in SBF with in 7 days, after they were thermally oxidized at 400 oC. These results indicated that the titanium metals were provided with apatite-forming ability, i.e. osteoconduction, due to controlled gap with thermally oxidized surface. Hence, we conclude that bioactive titanium substrate showing osteoconduction can be produced by designed machining followed by thermal oxidation at an appropriate temperature.
Guy Daculsi and Pierre Layrolle
A. Sugino et al., "Gap Effect on the Heterogeneous Nucleation of Apatite on Thermally Oxidized Titanium Substrate", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 361-363, pp. 621-624, 2008