Molecular plasma deposition: biologically inspired nanohydroxyapatite coatings on anodized nanotubular titanium for improving osteoblast density
Ganesan Balasundaram,1 Daniel M Storey,1 Thomas J Webster2,3
1Chameleon Scientific, Longmont, CO, USA; 2Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA; 3Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Abstract: In order to begin to prepare a novel orthopedic implant that mimics the natural bone environment, the objective of this in vitro study was to synthesize nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite (NHA) and coat it on titanium (Ti) using molecular plasma deposition (MPD). NHA was synthesized through a wet chemical process followed by a hydrothermal treatment. NHA and micron sized hydroxyapatite (MHA) were prepared by processing NHA coatings at 500°C and 900°C, respectively. The coatings were characterized before and after sintering using scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The results revealed that the post-MPD heat treatment of up to 500°C effectively restored the structural and topographical integrity of NHA. In order to determine the in vitro biological responses of the MPD-coated surfaces, the attachment and spreading of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) on the uncoated, NHA-coated, and MHA-coated anodized Ti were investigated. Most importantly, the NHA-coated substrates supported a larger number of adherent cells than the MHA-coated and uncoated substrates. The morphology of these cells was assessed by scanning electron microscopy and the observed shapes were different for each substrate type. The present results are the first reports using MPD in the framework of hydroxyapatite coatings on Ti to enhance osteoblast responses and encourage further studies on MPD-based hydroxyapatite coatings on Ti for improved orthopedic applications.
Keywords: hydroxyapatite, anodization, nanotechnology
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