Hydroxylapatite growth on single-crystal rutile substrates
Titanium is widely used as an implant material. In addition to the bulk properties of titanium, the biological response is to a large degree controlled via the surface. The native amorphous titanium oxide that forms spontaneously on the surface gives a very good biological response. Lately it has been shown that crystalline titanium oxides (rutile and anatase) have in vitro bioactive properties. In addition to its potential for new materials development, this finding also opens up for the possibility of studying the mechanisms of bioactivity on materials with strictly controlled surfaces. In this paper the mechanisms behind the in vitro bioactivity are studied, using rutile single crystals. Three single-crystal rutile substrates: (100), (110), and (001), and a polycrystalline rutile substrate obtained by physical vapour deposition were soaked in a phosphate buffered saline solution for up to 4 weeks. The hydroxylapatite films that formed were analysed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, focused ion beam, and transmission electron microscopy. The hydroxylapatite grew faster on the (001) surface than on the other two. It was also found that on the (001) surface the direction of fast growth in hydroxylapatite was aligned parallel to the surface. This is in contrast to the (110) rutile surface where the fast growth of the hydroxylapatite crystal was directed outwards from the surface. The (100) face had poor adhesion at the interface. The orientations of the precipitated crystallites play a significant role in the faster coverage of the (001) rutile face. Based on the experimental results, a model for the hydroxylapatite growth process is given.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 29, Issue 23, August 2008, Pages 3317–3323