A functionally graded titanium/hydroxyapatite film obtained by sputtering

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A functionally graded film of titanium/hydroxyapatite (HA) was prepared on a titanium substrate using a radio frequency magnetron sputtering. The ratio of titanium to HA was controlled by moving the target shutter. The film was composed of five layers, with overall film thickness of 1 μm. The HA was concentrated close to the surface, while the titanium concentration increased with proximity to the substrate. The bonding strength between the film and the substrate was 15.2 MPa in a pull-out test and the critical load from a scratch test was 58.85 mN. The corresponding values of a pure HA sputtered film were 8.0 MPa and 38.47 mN, respectively. The bonding strength of a pure HA plasma spray coating was 10.4 MPa in the pull-out test. The graded film and the pure HA film were sputter-coated to a thickness of 1 μm on titanium columns (10 mm in length and 4 mm in diameter). These columns were implanted in diaphyses of the femora of six adult dogs and a push-out test was carried out after 2, 4, and 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, the push-out strengths of the graded film, the pure HA film and the non-coated columns were 3.7, 3.5, and 1.0 MPa.