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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2013 Sep;101(9):2586-601. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.34568. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Wear mechanism and tribological characteristics of porous NiTi shape memory alloy for bone scaffold.

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Department of Physics & Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.


The abraded debris might cause osteocytic osteolysis on the interface between implants and bone tissues, thus inducing the subsequent mobilization of implants gradually and finally resulting in the failure of bone implants, which imposes restrictions on the applications of porous NiTi shape memory alloys (SMAs) scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. In this work, the effects of the annealing temperature, applied load, and porosity on the tribological behavior and wear resistance of three-dimensional porous NiTi SMA are investigated systematically. The porous structure and phase transformation during the exothermic process affect the tribological properties and wear mechanism significantly. In general, a larger porosity leads to better tribological resistance but sometimes, SMAs with small porosity possess better wear resistance than ones with higher porosity during the initial sliding stage. It can be ascribed to the better superelasticity of the former at the test temperature. The porous NiTi phase during the exothermic reaction also plays an important role in the wear resistance. Generally, porous NiTi has smaller friction coefficients under high loads due to stress-induced superelasticity. The wear mechanism is discussed based on plastic deformation and microcrack propagation.


NiTi shape memory alloys; bone scaffold; phase transformation; porous; tribological behavior

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