Growth of bioactive surfaces on dental implants

Implant Dent. 2002;11(2):170-5. doi: 10.1097/00008505-200204000-00019.


Some metallic materials, such as pure titanium, Ti-6Al-4V, are used for dental and orthopedic implants under load-bearing conditions. However, they do not form a chemical bond with bone, which would achieve a good implant-bone fixation in service. In recent works, it has been demonstrated that an in vitro, chemically deposited, bone-like apatite layer with bone-bonding ability could be induced on a titanium surface. By reproducing that chemical procedure, in this work, a dense bone-like apatite layer was formed on the surface of the titanium in simulated body fluid. In addition, the different steps and kinetics of the layer-formation have been studied, because the observation of the samples in the wet state by means of the environmental scanning electron microscope has allowed the observation in situ of the apatite deposition process over a number of days. One of the most important features of the present study is that it can be carried out on a single titanium sample and the process is not interrupted at any stage. One of the main drawbacks of this chemical method is that the samples covered with apatite are susceptible to contamination by bacteria. The behavior of different types of antibiotics used to avoid this contamination has also been studied using the environmental scanning electron microscope. Finally, osteoblast cells have been cultured on the apatite-coated titanium samples to assess their biocompatibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Fluids
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible*
  • Dental Alloys
  • Dental Implants*
  • Durapatite
  • Equipment Contamination / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Osteoblasts / physiology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / prevention & control
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Dental Alloys
  • Dental Implants
  • titanium alloy (TiAl6V4)
  • Durapatite
  • Titanium