The titanium implant/zirconia abutment interface can suffer failure upon mechanical and biological issues, ultimately leading to the loss of the artificial tooth. The study of the effect of the organic compounds present in saliva on the tribological behavior of these systems is of utmost importance to understand the failure mechanisms and better mimic the in vivo conditions. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the effect of the addition of albumin, urea, lysozyme and mucin to artificial saliva, on the triboactivity of Ti6Al4V/zirconia pair commonly used in dental implants and then, compare the results with those obtained with human saliva. The solutions' viscosity was measured and the adsorption of the different biomolecules to both Ti6Al4V and zirconia was accessed. Tribological tests were performed using Ti6Al4V balls sliding on zirconia plates inside of a corrosion cell. Friction and wear coefficients were determined, and the open circuit potential (OCP) was monitored during the tests. Also, the wear mechanisms were identified. The presence of mucin in the artificial lubricant led to the lowest wear coefficients. The main wear mechanism was abrasion, independently of the used lubricant. Adhesive wear was observed for the systems without mucin. Tribocorrosion activity and wear coefficient were lower in the presence of mucin. None of the studied artificial lubricants mimicked the effect of human saliva (HS) on the tribological behavior of the studied pair since this lubricant led to the lowest friction coefficient and highest corrosion activity.
Keywords: Adsorption; Saliva biomolecules; Tribocorrosion; Wear; Zirconia/Ti6Al4V pair.
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