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J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2013 Aug;9(8):1327-35.

Surface modification of stainless steel orthopedic implants by sol-gel ZrTiO4 and ZrTiO4-PMMA coatings.

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  • 1Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Oklahoma State University, OK 74106, USA.


In this paper, the biocompatibility of a medical-grade stainless steel coated with sol-gel derived, nanostructured inorganic ZrTiO4 and hybrid ZrTiO4-PMMA thin films is correlated with surface characteristics. The surfaces of the samples are characterized by atomic force microscopy, the sessile drop technique, and electrochemical corrosion experiments. The viability of adult human mesenchymal stem cells on the surfaces after one day of culture is also assessed quantitatively and morphologically. According to the results, both of the coatings improve the hydrophilicity, corrosion resistance, and thereby cytocompatibility of the substrate. Despite the higher corrosion protection by the hybrid coating, the sample coated with the inorganic thin film exhibits a better cell response, suggesting the domination of wettability. In summary, the ZrTiO4-based sol-gel films can be considered to improve the biocompatibility of metallic implants.

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