A study was undertaken in rabbit tibiae to determine the effects of chemical treatments and/or surface-induced bonelike apatite on the bone-bonding ability of titanium (Ti) implants. Smooth-surfaced plates (10 × 10 × 2 mm) of pure Ti, alkalil- and heat-treated Ti, and bonelike apatite-formed Ti after the treatments were implanted into the tibial metaphyses of mature rabbits. The tibiae containing the implants were harvested at 4, 8, and 16 weeks after implantation and subjected to a tensile testing and histologic evaluation. Biomechanical results showed that both treated implants exhibited significantly higher failure loads compared with untreated Ti implants at all time periods. Histologic examination by Giemsa surface staining, contact microradiography (CMR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in backscatter mode revealed that both treated Ti implants directly bonded to bone tissue during the early postimplantation period, whereas untreated Ti implants formed direct contact with the bone only at 16 weeks. SEM-electron-probe microanalysis (EPMA) examination showed a Ca-P-rich layer at the interface between the treated implants and bone, although the Ca-P-rich layer was not detected on the surface of untreated implants during observation periods. The results of this study suggest that chemical treatments may accelerate the bone-bonding behavior of titanium implants and enhance the strength of bone-implant bonding by inducing a bioactive surface layer on Ti implants. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res, 37, 267–275, 1997.