Current orthopaedic biomaterials research mainly focuses on developing implants that could induce controlled, guided and rapid healing. In the present study, the surface morphologies of titanium (Ti) and niobium (Nb) metals were tailored to form nanoporous, nanoplate and nanofibre-like structures through adjustment of the temperature in the alkali treatment. The in vitro bioactivity of these structures was then evaluated by soaking in simulated body fluid (SBF). It was found that the morphology of the modified surface significantly influenced the apatite inducing ability. The Ti surface with a nanofiber-like structure showed better apatite inducing ability, than the nanoporous or nanoplate surface structures. A thick dense apatite layer formed on the Ti surface with nanofiber-like structure after 1 week soaking in SBF. It is expected that the nanofibre-like surface could achieve good apatite formation in vivo and subsequently enhance osteoblast cell adhesion and bone formation in vivo.