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Biomaterials. 2003 Apr;24(9):1603-11.

In vitro studies of plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite/Ti-6Al-4V composite coatings in simulated body fluid (SBF).

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School of Mechanical & Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, North Spine Block N3, Level 250, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore.


The bioactivity of plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite (HA)/Ti-6Al-4V composite coatings was studied by soaking the coatings in simulated body fluid (SBF) for up to 8 weeks. This investigation was aimed at elucidating the biological behaviour of plasma-sprayed HA/Ti-6Al-4V composite coatings by analyzing the changes in chemistry, and crystallinity of the composite coating in a body-analogous solution. Phase composition, microstructure and calcium ion concentration were analyzed before, and after immersion. The mechanical properties, such as tensile bond strength, microhardness and Young's modulus were appropriately measured. Results demonstrated that the tensile bond strength of the composite coating was significantly higher than that of pure HA coatings even after soaking in the SBF solution over an 8-weeks period. Dissolution of Ca-P phases in SBF was evident after 24h of soaking, and, a layer of carbonate-apatite covered the coating surface after 2 weeks of immersion. The mechanical properties were found to diminish with soaking duration. However, slight variation in mechanical properties was found after supersaturation of the calcium ions was attained with the precipitation of the calcium phosphate layers.

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