ABSTRACT Surface properties of Ti implants (especially surface hydrophilicity) influence biological responses at the interface between the bone tissue and the implant. However, only a little research reported the effect of surface hydrophilicity on osteoconductivity by in vivo test. We have investigated the surface characteristics and osteoconductivity of titanium implant produced by hydrothermal treatment using distilled water at temperature of 180°C for 3 h, and compared with as-polished and those of implants produced by anodizing in 0.1M H2SO4 with applied voltage from 0 V to 100 V at 0.1 Vsˉ1 and anodizing followed by hydrothermal treatment. The relationship between hydrophilic surface and osteoconductivity in various surface modifications was examined by in vivo test. In order to maintain the hydrophilicity of the hydrothermal sample surface, it was kept in to the phosphate buffered saline solution (PBS) with 5 times concentration: 5PBS(-) in room temperature. The surface characteristics were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, XRD, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, surface roughness and contact angle measurement using a 2μL droplet of distilled water. In in vivo testing, the rod samples (Φ2 × 5 mm) were implanted in male rat’s tibiae for 14 days and the bone-implant contact ratio, RB-I, was used to evaluate the osteoconductivity in the cortical and cancellous bone parts, respectively. As a result, hydrothermal treatment without anodizing still produced a smooth surface like an initial surface roughness of as-polished samples, Ra/μm < 0.1 and hydrophilic surface compared with the other processes. On the other hand, the super-hydrophilic surface with water contact angle less than 10 (deg.) and high osteoconductivity up to RB-I = 50% in cortical bone part (about four times higher than as-polished Ti) were provided by only hydrothermal process without anodizing after immersing into 5PBS(-).
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