In a recent study, which was published in Nanotechnology, an interdisciplinary research team from China has reported the bioactivity of niobium-doped titania nanotubes, which were grown on an implant alloy through anodization. The highly aligned nanotube arrays presented an excellent bioactivity in simulated body fluids and mesenchymal stem cell culture. Stem cell adhesion and fast-forming extracellular matrix materials were observed on top of the niobium-doped nanotubes.

Using the anodization of biomedical titanium alloys as a starting point, a variety of highly bioactive nanotubes, which are doped with different elements, could be fabricated for drug delivery, orthopedic and dental applications. In addition, these doped nanotubes are expected to find many other applications including photocatalysis, environmental protection, hydrogen sensors and solar cells.