PM Titanium – Based Composites with Improved Biocompatibility
Although titanium is considered to be the most successful metal for uncemented endosseous implants, its biocompatibility may be unsatisfactory in certain clinical cases. As an early osseointegration is essential in order to reduce the implant failure risk, the bioactive fixation becomes the appropriate solution for bone applications. The method requires bioactive materials such as hydroxyapatite (HA) to facilitate the chemical bonding to tissue. The present work refers to Ti-HA composites designed for endosseous implants and obtained through the classic PM route. Grade 1 c.p. Ti powder obtained through the hydriding – milling – dehydriding process, 63 - 100 μm grain size, was used. Sol-gel HA powder, grain size of less than 100 μm, was obtained through the sol-gel method. Blends of Ti and 5 to 50% HA were compacted in a rigid die (0.5 cm2), without the use of any lubricant, with 400, 500 and 600 MPa, then vacuum sintered (10-6 torr) at 1160°C for 60 minutes. Samples are well sintered with a compactness that increases with the applied compaction pressure. A transition layer can be seen in the EDX at the interface between the Ti matrix and the HA particles and is expected to increase the overall mechanical stability of compacts. The pores, essential for osseointegration, are interconnected, with irregular shapes and sizes that reach 100 μm, the critical size needed for the formation of a vital new bone. The HA content has to be limited to 30%, not to lead to an excessive brittleness. The biologic viability of compacts was assessed by immersion for 7 days into a simulated body fluid (SBF). The subsequent XRD analyses have proven that a new HA layer is formed on the surface of samples. This layer is essential for accelerating the cellular response of osteoblasts in the body.
Ionel Chicinaş and Liviu Brânduşan
C. Popa et al., "PM Titanium – Based Composites with Improved Biocompatibility", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 672, pp. 303-306, 2011