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Biomaterials. 2009 Feb;30(6):1015-25. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.11.004. Epub 2008 Nov 29.

The effect of ultraviolet functionalization of titanium on integration with bone.

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Laboratory for Bone and Implant Sciences, The Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, Biomaterials and Hospital Dentistry, UCLA School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668, USA.


Titanium implants are used as a reconstructive anchor in orthopedic and dental diseases and problems. Recently, ultraviolet (UV) light-induced photocatalytic activity of titanium has earned considerable and broad interest in environmental and clean-energy sciences. This study determines whether UV treatment of titanium enhances its osteoconductive capacity. Machined and acid-etched titanium samples were treated with UV for various time periods up to 48h. For both surfaces, UV treatment increased the rates of attachment, spread, proliferation and differentiation of rat bone marrow-derived osteoblasts, as well as the capacity of protein adsorption, by up to threefold. In vivo histomorphometry in the rat model revealed that new bone formation occurred extensively on UV-treated implants with virtually no intervention by soft tissue, maximizing bone-implant contact up to nearly 100% at week 4 of healing. An implant biomechanical test revealed that UV treatment accelerated the establishment of implant fixation 4 times. The rates of protein adsorption and cell attachment strongly correlated with the UV dose-responsive atomic percentage of carbon on TiO2, but not with the hydrophilic status. The data indicated that UV light pretreatment of titanium substantially enhances its osteoconductive capacity, in association with UV-catalytic progressive removal of hydrocarbons from the TiO2 surface, suggesting a photofunctionalization of titanium enabling more rapid and complete establishment of bone-titanium integration.

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