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Keywords:

  • titanium (alloys);
  • Ti-Nb;
  • surface modification;
  • corrosion;
  • hydroxy(1)lapatite

Abstract

The low modulus β-type Ti-45Nb alloy is a promising new implant alloy due to its excellent mechanical biocompatibility and composition of non-toxic elements. The effect of surface treatments on the evolution of controlled topography and roughness was investigated by means of scanning electron microscopy and optical profilometry. Severe mechanical treatments, for example sand-blasting, or etching treatments in strongly oxidizing acidic solutions, like HF:HNO3 (4:1) or H2SO4:H2O2 (1:1) piranha solution were found to be very effective. In particular, the latter generates a nanopatterned surface topography which is expected to be promising for the stimulation of bone tissue growth. Compared to Ti and Ti-6Al-4V, the β-type Ti-45Nb alloy requires significantly longer etching durations due to the high chemical stability of Nb. Severe surface treatments alter the passive film properties, but do not deteriorate the outstanding corrosion resistance of the Ti-45Nb alloy in synthetic body fluid environments. The Ti-45Nb appears to have a lower apatite-formation ability compared to Ti. Etching with H2SO4:H2O2 (1:1) piranha solution inhibits apatite formation on Ti, but not on Ti-45Nb. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2013.