Enhancing surface characteristics of Ti-6Al-4V for bio-implants using integrated anodization and thermal oxidation

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Modifications of Ti-6Al-4V surface roughness, wettability and composition are increasingly studied to improve cellular viability on biomedical implants involving Ti-6Al-4V. In this study, it is shown that modification of Ti-6Al-4V samples using anodization (for the formation of titania nanotubes) combined with thermal oxidation (TO) results in superior surface characteristics to those of a smooth, rough, anodized-smooth or anodized-rough surface alone. Surface characterization is performed using water contact angle (WCA) measurements, white-light interferometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIRS), field emission scanning electron microscopy and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD). WCA measurements before TO indicate that anodized-smooth and anodized-rough samples are super-hydrophilic (WCA less than 5°); WCA of non-anodized smooth and rough surfaces are 57 ± 6° and 86 ± 7°, respectively. After TO at 450 °C for 3 hours, all samples become super-hydrophilic; however, three weeks after TO, smooth and rough surfaces become hydrophobic, while anodized-smooth and anodized-rough surfaces remain hydrophilic. FTIRS and GIXRD data show that the TO of anodized and non-anodized smooth samples results in anatase and rutile TiO2, of which anatase is favorable for cellular attachment. Micro-/nano-scale roughness and TO are discussed in the context of enhanced Ti-6Al-4V surface characteristics for improved cellular response. © the Partner Organisations 2014.

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Journal of Materials Chemistry B