Indexed on: 07 Dec '07Published on: 07 Dec '07Published in: Acta Biomaterialia
Apatite (Ca5(PO4)3OH) has long been considered as an excellent biomaterial to promote bone repairs and implant. Apatite formation induced by negatively charged nanocrystalline TiO2 coatings soaked in simulated body fluid (SBF) was investigated using in situ quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) techniques, and factors affecting its formation such as pH, size of TiO2 particles and thickness of TiO2 coatings, were discussed in detail. Two different stages were clearly observed in the process of apatite precipitation, indicating two different kinetic processes. At the first stage, the calcium ions in SBF were initially attracted to the negatively charged TiO2 surface, and then the calcium titanate formed at the interface combined with phosphate ions, consequently forming apatite nuclei. After the nucleation, the calcium ions, phosphate ions and other minor ions (i.e. CO3(2-) and Mg2+) in supersaturated SBF deposited spontaneously on the original apatite coatings to form apatite precipitates. In terms of the in situ frequency shifts, the growth-rate constants of apatite (K1 and K2) were estimated, respectively, at two different stages, and the results were (1.96+/-0.14)x10(-3)s(-1) and (1.28+/-0.10)x10(-4)s(-1), respectively, in 1.5 SBF solution. It was found that the reaction rate at the first stage is obviously higher than that at the second stage.