Surface films play a key role in corrosion and osteointegration processes of titanium-based orthopedic implants. The influence of niobium and vanadium as alloying elements on titanium alloy passivity have been investigated in Hanks' Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS), at 37 degrees C and pH 6.9.Ti6Al4V and Ti6Al6Nb have been considered. The excellent passivating properties of the anodically formed Ti(IV)-based surface oxide film and high corrosion resistance of the Ti6Al6Nb alloy have been attributed to the stabilizing effect of Nb(5+) cations on the passive film, by annihilation of stoichiometric defects (anion vacancies) caused by the presence of titanium suboxides. Localized corrosion sensitivity of the Ti6Al4V alloy has been correlated to the dissolution of vanadium at the surface film/electrolyte interface coupled with generation of cation vacancies and their diffusion through the film as a part of the solid-state diffusion process. The presence of a high concentration of chloride ions (0.15gl(-1)) in HBSS further accelerates these processes.