Ti-6Al-4V alloy is widely prevalent as a material for orthopaedic implants because of its good corrosion resistance and biocompatibility. However, the discrepancy in Young's modulus between metal prosthesis and human cortical bone sometimes induces clinical problems, thigh pain and bone atrophy due to stress shielding. We designed a Ti-Nb-Sn alloy with a low Young's modulus to address problems of stress disproportion. In this study, we assessed effects of anodic oxidation with or without hot water treatment on the bone-bonding characteristics of a Ti-Nb-Sn alloy. We examined surface analyses and apatite formation by SEM micrographs, XPS and XRD analyses. We also evaluated biocompatibility in experimental animal models by measuring failure loads with a pull-out test and by quantitative histomorphometric analyses. By SEM, abundant apatite formation was observed on the surface of Ti-Nb-Sn alloy discs treated with anodic oxidation and hot water after incubation in Hank's solution. A strong peak of apatite formation was detected on the surface using XRD analyses. XPS analysis revealed an increase of the H2O fraction in O 1s XPS. Results of the pull-out test showed that the failure loads of Ti-Nb-Sn alloy rods treated with anodic oxidation and hot water was greater than those of untreated rods. Quantitative histomorphometric analyses indicated that anodic oxidation and hot water treatment induced higher new bone formation around the rods. Our findings indicate that Ti-Nb-Sn alloy treated with anodic oxidation and hot water showed greater capacity for apatite formation, stronger bone bonding and higher biocompatibility for osteosynthesis. Ti-Nb-Sn alloy treated with anodic oxidation and hot water treatment is a promising material for orthopaedic implants enabling higher osteosynthesis and lower stress disproportion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas