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Cell response of anodized nanotubes on titanium and titanium alloys


Correspondence to: C. Wen; e-mail:


Titanium and titanium alloy implants that have been demonstrated to be more biocompatible than other metallic implant materials, such as Co–Cr alloys and stainless steels, must also be accepted by bone cells, bonding with and growing on them to prevent loosening. Highly ordered nanoporous arrays of titanium dioxide that form on titanium surface by anodic oxidation are receiving increasing research interest due to their effectiveness in promoting osseointegration. The response of bone cells to implant materials depends on the topography, physicochemistry, mechanics, and electronics of the implant surface and this influences cell behavior, such as adhesion, proliferation, shape, migration, survival, and differentiation; for example the existing anions on the surface of a titanium implant make it negative and this affects the interaction with negative fibronectin (FN). Although optimal nanosize of reproducible titania nanotubes has not been reported due to different protocols used in studies, cell response was more sensitive to titania nanotubes with nanometer diameter and interspace. By annealing, amorphous TiO2 nanotubes change to a crystalline form and become more hydrophilic, resulting in an encouraging effect on cell behavior. The crystalline size and thickness of the bone-like apatite that forms on the titania nanotubes after implantation are also affected by the diameter and shape. This review describes how changes in nanotube morphologies, such as the tube diameter, the thickness of the nanotube layer, and the crystalline structure, influence the response of cells. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A: 2726–2739, 2013.