Quaternary Ti–20Nb–10Zr–5Ta alloy during immersion in simulated physiological solutions: formation of layers, dissolution and biocompatibility
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Samples of the quaternary Ti–20Nb–10Zr–5Ta alloy were immersed in Hanks’ simulated physiological solution and in minimum essential medium (MEM) for 25 days. Samples of Ti metal served as controls. During immersion, the concentration of ions dissolved in MEM was measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, while at the end of the experiment the composition of the surface layers was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and their morphology by scanning electron microscopy equipped for chemical analysis. The surface layer formed during immersion was comprised primarily of TiO2 but contained oxides of alloying elements as well. The degree of oxidation differed for different metal cations; while titanium achieved the highest valency, tantalum remained as the metal or is oxidized to its sub-oxides. Calcium phosphate was formed in both solutions, while formation of organic-related species was observed only in MEM. Dissolution of titanium ions was similar for metal and alloy. Among alloying elements, zirconium dissolved in the largest quantity. The long-term effects of alloy implanted in the recipient’s body were investigated in MEM, using two types of human cells—an osteoblast-like cell line and immortalized pulmonary fibroblasts. The in vitro biocompatibility of the quaternary alloy was similar to that of titanium, since no detrimental effects on cell survival, induction of apoptosis, delay of growth, or change in alkaline phosphatase activity were observed on incubation in MEM.
KeywordsInductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry Minimum Essential Medium Metal Extract Quaternary Alloy Unexposed Control
This work was performed within the European transnational MNT ERA-Net II project (acronym SURFUNCTI). Support of the EU (ERDF) and Romanian Government infrastructure POS-CCE O 2.2.1 Project INFRANANOCHEM—No. 19/2009 is also gratefully acknowledged, as is the financial support by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia. Human osteosarcoma (HOS), a human osteoblast-like cell line, was kindly donated by Prof. J. Marc, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana. The authors thank Dr. V.S. Šelih of the National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia, for the ICP-MS measurements and Dr. R. Milačič of the Jožef Stefan Institute for fruitful discussion.
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