Titanium possesses an excellent corrosion resistance in biological environments because the titanium dioxide formed on its surface is extremely stable. When aluminium and vanadium are added to titanium in small quantities, the alloy achieves considerably higher tensile properties than of pure titanium and this alloy is used in high stress-bearing situations. But these metals may also influence the chemostatic mechanisms that are involved in the attraction of biocells. V presence can be associated with potential cytotoxic effects and adverse tissue reactions. The alloys with aluminium and iron or with aluminium and niobium occur to be more suitable for implant applications: it possesses similar corrosion resistance and mechanical properties to those of titanium-aluminium-vanadium alloy; moreover, these alloys have no toxicity.
In this paper, pure Ti, Ti-6Al-7Nb and Ti-6Al-4Fe with a nanostructured surface were studied. Data about mechanical behavior are presented. The mechanical behavior was determined using optical metallography, tensile strength and Vickers microhardness.
For the electrochemical measurements a conventional three-electrode cell with a Pt grid as counter electrode and saturated calomel (SCE) as reference electrode was used. AC impedance data were obtained at open circuit potential using a PAR 263A potentiostat connected with a PAR 5210 lock-in amplifier. The ESEM and EDAX observation were carried out with an environmental scanning electronic microscope Fei XL30 ESEM with LaB6-cathode attached with an energy-dispersive electron probe X-ray analyzer (EDAX Sapphire). After 3 days of immersion in simulated body fluid the nucleation of the bone growth was observed on the implant surface.
It resulted that the tested oxide films presented passivation tendency and a very good stability and no form of local corrosion was detected. The mechanical data confirm the presence of an outer porous passive layer and an inner compact and protective passive layer. EIS confirms the mechanical results. The thicknesses of these layers were measured. SEM photographs of the surface and EDX profiles for the samples illustrate the appearance of a microporous layer made up of an alkaline titanate hydrogel. The apatite-forming ability of the metal is attributed to the amorphous sodium titanate that is formed on the metal during the surface treatment.
The results emphasized that the surface treatment increases the passive layer adhesion to the metal surface and improves the biocompatibility of the biomedical devices inducing the bone growth on the implant surface.