Indexed on: 13 Nov '07Published on: 13 Nov '07Published in: Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Nacre coatings were deposited on Ti6Al4V substrates by electrophoretic technique, and subsequently converted into apatite coatings with hierarchical porous structures by treatment with a phosphate buffer solution. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and N(2) adsorption-desorption isotherms. The results show that the nacre coatings are converted into the plate-like apatite coatings via a dissolution-precipitation reaction, while the organic components of the nacre are reserved. The mesopores with pore size of 4.4 nm are formed within the plate-like structure, and the macropores are formed among the plate-like structure. Simulated body fluid (SBF) immersion tests reveal that the apatite coatings have a good in vitro bioactivity. Bone-like apatite crystals are formed on the surfaces of the apatite coatings after soaking in SBF for 12 h, and fill up the macropores on the coatings with increasing the soaking time. In addition, XPS indicates that a TiO(x) layer and PO(4) (3-) ions appear on the substrate surfaces by pretreatment with a H(3)PO(4)/HF solution. The TiO(x) layer and PO(4) (3-) ions can induce the formation of apatite crystals, resulting in a composition gradient from the oxide layer to the external apatite layer.