Biomedical implants made of titanium-based materials are expected to have certain essential features including high bone-to-implant contact and optimum osteointegration, which are often influenced by the surface topography and physicochemical properties of titanium surfaces. The surface structure in the nanoscale regime is presumed to alter/facilitate the protein binding, cell adhesion and proliferation, thereby reducing post-operative complications with increased lifespan of biomedical implants. The novelty of our TiO2 nanostructures lies mainly in the high level control over their morphology and roughness by mere compositional change and optimisation of the experimental parameters. The present work focuses on the wetting behaviour of various nanostructured titanium surfaces towards water. Kinetics of contact area of water droplet on macroscopically flat, nanoporous and nanotubular titanium surface topologies was monitored under similar evaporation conditions. The contact area of the water droplet on hydrophobic titanium planar surface (foil) was found to decrease during evaporation, whereas the contact area of the droplet on hydrophobic nanorough titanium surfaces practically remained unaffected until the complete evaporation. This demonstrates that the surface morphology and roughness at the nanoscale level substantially affect the titanium dioxide surface-water droplet interaction, opposing to previous observations for microscale structured surfaces. The difference in surface topographic nanofeatures of nanostructured titanium surfaces could be correlated not only with the time-dependency of the contact area, but also with time-dependency of the contact angle and electrochemical properties of these surfaces.
Keywords: Biomedical implants; Nanorough surfaces; Nanostructured titanium surfaces; Surface electrochemical properties; Time-dependent contact area; Wettability.
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