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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2007 Sep 15;82(4):810-9.

Biocompatilibity-related surface characteristics of oxidized NiTi.

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Department of Medical Technology, University of Oulu, PO Box 5000, Oulu, Finland.


In the present study, we examined the effect of NiTi oxidation on material surface characteristics related to biocompatibility. Correspondence between electron work function (EWF) and adhesive force predicted by electron theory of adsorption as well as the effect of surface mechanical stress on the adhesive force were studied on the nonoxidized and oxidized at 350, 450, and 600 degrees C NiTi alloy for medical application. The adhesive force generated by the material surface towards the drops of alpha-minimal essential medium (alpha-MEM) was used as a characteristic of NiTi adsorption properties. The study showed that variations in EWF and mechanical stress caused by surface treatment were accompanied by variations in adhesive force. NiTi oxidation at all temperatures used gave rise to decrease in adhesive force and surface stress values in comparison to the nonoxidized state. In contrary, the EWF value revealed increase under the same condition. Variations in surface oxide layer thickness and its phase composition were also followed. The important role of oxide crystallite size in EWF values within the range of crystallite dimensions typical for NiTi surface oxide as an instrument for the fine regulation of NiTi adsorption properties was demonstrated. The comparative oxidation of pure titanium and NiTi showed that the effect of Ni on the EWF value of NiTi surface oxide is negligible.

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