Electrochemical synthesis of silica-doped high aspect-ratio titania nanotubes as nanobioceramics for implant applications

Narges F. Fahim, Magdi F. Morks, Tohru Sekino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The preparation of silica-doped high aspect-ratio TiO2 nanotubes and their apatite-forming ability were demonstrated in this study. The high aspect-ratio TiO2 nanotube layers were produced by electrochemical anodic oxidation of Ti in chloride-containing electrolytes. Nanotubes were doped with different concentrations of silica particles through anodization in NaCl electrolyte containing different concentrations of water glass (24 g/L or 48 g/L Na2SiO3). The biomimetic apatite deposition behavior was evaluated under simulated body fluid (SBF) with an ion concentration nearly equal to human blood plasma. The experimental results collectively demonstrate the successful silica doping of the resultant nanotube layers with significant abundant OH groups on their surfaces. The results of hydroxyapatite (HA) growth on nanotubes clearly show that the silica doping greatly enhances the fast nucleation and growth of HA, especially for the tubes in their "as-formed" amorphous state, which usually require a long time for apatite induction. The nanotubes doped with high silica content combined with an anatase or a mixture of anatase and rutile led to the formation of very thick and continuous apatite layers with a thickness of ∼7 μm in 21 days. In contrast, to the tubes doped with a low concentration of silica (grown in an electrolyte containing 24 g/L Na2SiO3), the HA deposited in the form of closely packed spheroid particles and never developed into continuous films. This effect could be attributed to the critical active-site density (silanol groups, >Si-OH), which provides the sterochemical match for apatite growth. Finally, the results of this study provide, for the first time, evidence for the dependence of HA morphology/microstructure on the crystallographic structure and the density of active sites (>Si-OH groups).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3255-3269
Number of pages15
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 30


  • Bioceramic
  • Hydroxyapatite formation
  • Nanotubes
  • Rapid anodization
  • Silica doping
  • Titanium dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry


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