Aug 18, 2009
Doped nanotubes present excellent bioactivity
Biomedical titanium and its alloys have been widely used as implant materials. Anodization is an effective surface modification method and enhances the biocompatibility, corrosion resistance and mechanical properties of biomedical titanium and its alloys. Among the various anodic nanostructures, undoped TiO2 nanotubes fabricated from pure titanium have shown excellent physical and chemical properties on many occasions. Considering the great clinical advantages of titanium alloys in comparison with pure titanium metal, doped nanotubes grown on titanium alloys are expected to have a bright future. In particular, the combination gives developers the freedom to obtain tunable nanostructures and properties through alloying.
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.
About the author
The work was performed at Shanghai Institute of Ceramics and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It was supported by Shanghai Pujiang Program (No. 07pj14047) and 863 Plan of China (2006AA02A1). Dr Dongyan Ding is based at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Dr Congqin Ning is based at Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Lin Huang is a co-supervised master student studying at both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Institute of Ceramics. Fangchun Jin is a masters student studying orthopedics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Dr Yongqiang Hao is working on orthopedics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Shuo Bai is a masters student studying materials science at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Yan Li is a masters student studying materials science at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Prof. Ming Li is the head of the Lab of Microelectronic Materials and Technology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Prof. Dali Mao is also working at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.