A novel investigation of the formation of titanium oxide nanotubes on thermally formed oxide of Ti-6Al-4V

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© 2015, Allen Press Inc. All rights reserved. Traditionally, titanium oxide (TiO2) nanotubes (TNTs) are anodized on Ti-6Al-4V alloy (Ti-V) surfaces with native TiO2 (amorphous TiO2); subsequent heat treatment of anodized surfaces has been observed to enhance cellular response. As-is bulk Ti-V, however, is often subjected to heat treatment, such as thermal oxidation (TO), to improve its mechanical properties. Thermal oxidation treatment of Ti-V at temperatures greater than 200°C and 400°C initiates the formation of anatase and rutile TiO2, respectively, which can affect TNT formation. This study aims at understanding the TNT formation mechanism on Ti-V surfaces with TO-formed TiO2 compared with that on as-is Ti-V surfaces with native oxide. Thermal oxidation-formed TiO2 can affect TNT formation and surface wettability because TO-formed TiO2 is expected to be part of the TNT structure. Surface characterization was carried out with field emission scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, water contact angle measurements, and white light interferometry. The TNTs were formed on control and 300°C and 600°C TO-treated Ti-V samples, and significant differences in TNT lengths and surface morphology were observed. No difference in elemental composition was found. Thermal oxidation and TO/anodization treatments produced hydrophilic surfaces, while hydrophobic behavior was observed over time (aging) for all samples. Reduced hydrophobic behavior was observed for TO/anodized samples when compared with control, control/anodized, and TO-treated samples. A method for improved surface wettability and TNT morphology is therefore discussed for possible applications in effective osseointegration of dental and orthopedic implants.

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Journal of Oral Implantology