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Acta Biomater. 2009 Jun;5(5):1821-30. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2009.01.027. Epub 2009 Jan 31.

Pulsed laser deposition of hydroxyapatite thin films on Ti-6Al-4V: effect of heat treatment on structure and properties.

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Center for Laser Aided Intelligent Manufacturing, University of Michigan, 2216 GGB, 2350 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125, USA.


Hydroxyapatite (HA) is an attractive biomaterial that has been widely used as a coating for dental and orthopedic metal implants. In this work, HA coatings were deposited on Ti-6Al-4V substrates by laser ablation of HA targets with a KrF excimer laser. Deposition was performed at ambient temperature under different working pressures that varied from 10(-4) to 10(-1) torr of oxygen. The as-deposited films were amorphous. They were annealed at 290-310 degrees C in ambient air in order to restore the crystalline structure of HA. The coatings morphology, composition and structure were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques. Mechanical and adhesive properties were examined using nanoindentation and scratch tests, respectively. The stability of the HA coatings was tested under simulated physiological conditions. This study reveals that the combination of pulsed laser deposition and post-deposition annealing at 300 degrees C have the potential to produce pure, adherent, crystalline HA coatings, which show no dissolution in a simulated body fluid.

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