2007 Volume 48 Issue 3 Pages 293-300
Biomedical β-type titanium alloys have been developed or are under development all over the world. In particular, researchers in Japan have been developed Ti-29Nb-13Ta-4.6Zr alloy (TNTZ)—β-type titanium alloy—for biomedical applications. Bioactive ceramic surface modification is effective for further improvement in the biocompatibility of TNTZ. Calcium phosphate ceramics such as hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6OH2; HAP), β-calcium pyrophosphate (β-Ca2P2O7; CPP), and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-Ca3(PO4)2; β-TCP) exhibit bioactivity. In this study, the formability and morphology of HAP on the surface of TNTZ, covered with sodium titanate film by alkali solution treatment were investigated before and after immersion in a simulated body fluid (SBF).
A reticulate structure with a considerable number of large cracks and mainly composed of sodium titanate and niobate films having a thickness of 400 nm to 800 nm is formed on the specimen surface of TNTZ after immersing in 3, 5, and 10 kmol·m−3 NaOH solutions for 86.4 and 172.8 ks. As the concentration of the alkali solution and the immersion time are increased, the formability of HAP improves because of the presence of a large amount of oxygen and the sodium in sodium titanate and niobate film. HAP is completely formed on the entire specimen surface of TNTZ immersed in the SBF for 1209.6 ks after immersing in 5 and 10 kmol·m−3 NaOH solutions for 172.8 ks. Alkali treatment at 333 K in 5 kmol·m−3 NaOH solutions for 172.8 ks is proposed to be an excellent condition to rapidly form HAP and fully cover the specimen surface of TNTZ with it. The bonding strength between TNTZ (alkali treatment at 333 K in 5 kmol·m−3 NaOH solutions for 172.8 ks) and HAP is around 2 MPa, which was half or less than half the value required for biomedical applications. The inclusion of a baking treatment after the alkali treatment in order to improve the bonding strength degraded the HAP formability. Furthermore, the formability decreases with an increase in the baking temperature.