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Publication Detail
Biocompatible, smooth, plasma-treated nickel-titanium surface-an adequate platform for cell growth
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Chrzanowski W, Szade J, Hart AD, Dalby MJ, Knowles JC
  • Publication date:
    02/2012
  • Pagination:
    707, 731
  • Journal:
    Journal of Biomaterials Applications
  • Volume:
    26
  • Issue:
    6
  • Print ISSN:
    0885-3282
Abstract
High nickel content is believed to reduce the number of biomedical applications of nickel-titanium alloy due to the reported toxicity of nickel. The reduction in nickel release and minimized exposure of the cell to nickel can optimize the biocompatibility of the alloy and increase its use in the application where its shape memory effects and pseudoelasticity are particularly useful, e.g., spinal implants. Many treatments have been tried to improve the biocompatibility of Ni-Ti, and results suggest that a native, smooth surface could provide sufficient tolerance, biologically. We hypothesized that the native surface of nickel-titanium supports cell differentiation and insures good biocompatibility. Three types of surface modifications were investigated: thermal oxidation, alkali treatment, and plasma sputtering, and compared with smooth, ground surface. Thermal oxidation caused a drop in surface nickel content, while negligible chemistry changes were observed for plasma-modified samples when compared with control ground samples. In contrast, alkali treatment caused significant increase in surface nickel concentration and accelerated nickel release. Nickel release was also accelerated in thermally oxidized samples at 600°C, while in other samples it remained at low level. Both thermal oxidation and alkali treatment increased the roughness of the surface, but mean roughness Ra was significantly greater for the alkali-treated ones. Ground and plasma-modified samples had 'smooth' surfaces with Ra = 4 nm. Deformability tests showed that the adhesion of the surface layers on samples oxidized at 600°C and alkali treatment samples was not sufficient; the layer delaminated upon deformation. It was observed that the cell cytoskeletons on the samples with a high nickel content or release were less developed, suggesting some negative effects of nickel on cell growth. These effects were observed primarily during initial cell contact with the surface. The most favorable cell responses were observed for ground and plasma-sputtered surfaces. These studies indicated that smooth, plasma-modified surfaces provide sufficient properties for cells to grow. © 2011 The Author(s) Reprints and permissions.
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