Bone–Biomaterial Interface : the effects of surface modified NiTi shape memory alloy on bone cells and tissue
Muhonen, Virpi (2008-06-17)
Whenever a foreign material is implanted into a human body an implant–tissue interface area forms between them. In this microenvironment, interactions take place between the implant and the surrounding tissue. The implantation of a biomaterial into tissue results in injury and initiation of the inflammatory response. This host response to biomaterials is an unavoidable series of events that occur when tissue homeostasis is disturbed by the implantation process. In bone tissue, biocompatible implants must initially be capable of strong bone implant contact and subsequently, allow the normal bone remodeling cycle around the implant.
NiTi is a metal alloy composed of approximately a 50:50 ratio of nickel and titanium. It possesses shape memory and superelasticity properties, which make it an interesting biomaterial. NiTi has two phases: austenite and martensite. A decrease in temperature or applied stress induce the austenite-to-martensite transformation. Heating or removing the stress restores the parent austenite phase. The alloy in its martensite structure can be reshaped and strained several times more than a conventional metal alloy without irreversible deformation of the material. The alloy returns to its original shape as it changes from martensite-to-austenite. This transformation is seen as the macroscopic shape memory effect.
This study further investigated the biocompatibility of NiTi, especially the bone cell response to both austenite and martensite. Different surface treatments were investigated in order to improve and possibly even control NiTi’s bioactivity as a bone implant material.
Osteoclasts grew and attached well on the austenite NiTi phase, but the results indicated that the biocompatibility of martensite NiTi was compromised. Oxidation of the NiTi surface improved osteoblast attachment and viability. This was due to the formation of a TiO2 surface layer of moderate thickness. Coating the NiTi surface with the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin was shown to enhance osteoblast proliferation and increase the number of cells in the G1 cell cycle stage. Austenite was more prone to show these effects than martensite. A sol-gel derived titania-silica surface treatment was observed to increase the bone implant contact of functional NiTi intramedullary nails. The surface treatment was most effective with the constant bending load provided by the NiTi nail.
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