Development of titanium alloys and surface treatments to increase the implants lifetime


  • Joan Lario-Femenía Universitat Politècnica de València, Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales
  • Angélica Amigó-Mata Universitat Politècnica de València, Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales
  • Ángel Vicente-Escuder Universitat Politècnica de València, Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales
  • Francisco Segovia-López Universitat Politècnica de València, Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales
  • Vicente Amigó-Borrás Universitat Politècnica de València, Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales



Anodization, β titanium alloys, Biocompatibility, Nanotubes, Osseointegration, Surface treatments, Thermal treatments


The population aging together with increase of life expectancy forces the development of new prosthesis which may present a higher useful life. The clinical success of implants is based on the osseointegration achievement. Therefore, metal implants must have a mechanical compatibility with the substituted bone, which is achieved through a combination of low elastic modulus, high flexural and fatigue strength. The improvement, in the short and long term, of the osseointegration depends on several factors, where the macroscopic design and dimensional, material and implant surface topography are of great importance. This article is focused on summarizing the advantages that present the titanium and its alloys to be used as biomaterials, and the development that they have suffered in recent decades to improve their biocompatibility. Consequently, the implants evolution has been recapitulated and summarized through three generations. In the recent years the interest on the surface treatments for metallic prostheses has been increased, the main objective is achieve a lasting integration between implant and bone tissue, in the shortest time possible. On this article various surface treatments currently used to modify the surface roughness or to obtain coatings are described it; it is worthy to mention the electrochemical oxidation with post-heat treated to modify the titanium oxide crystalline structure. After the literature review conducted for prepare this article, the ? titanium alloys, with a nanotubes surface of obtained by electrochemical oxidation and a subsequent step of heat treatment to obtain a crystalline structure are the future option to improve long term biocompatibility of titanium prostheses.


Download data is not yet available.


Ahmed, T., Rack, H.J. (1998). Phase transformations during cooling in ?+? titanium alloys. Mat. Sci. Eng. A-Struct. 243 (1-2), 206–211.

Anselme, K., Bigerelle, M., Noel, B., Dufresne, E., Judas, D., Iost, A., Hardouin, P. (2000). Qualitative and quantitative study of human osteoblast adhesion on materials with various surface roughnesses. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 49 (2), 155–166.<155::AID-JBM2>3.0.CO;2-J

Bai, Y., Park, I.S., Park, H.H., Lee, M.H., Bae, T.S., Duncan, W., Swain, M. (2011). The effect of annealing temperatures on surface properties, hydroxyapatite growth and cell behaviors of TiO2 nanotubes. Surf. Interface Anal. 43 (6), 998–1005.

Ban, S., Iwaya, Y., Kono, H., Sato, H. (2006). Surface modification of titanium by etching in concentrated sulfuric acid. Dent. Mater. 22 (12), 1115–1120. PMid:16375960

Bauer, S., Pittrof, A., Tsuchiya, H., Schmuki, P. (2011). Size-effects in TiO2 nanotubes: Diameter dependent anatase/rutile stabilization. Electrochem. Commun. 13 (6), 538–541.

Bayram, C., Demirbilek, M., Yalçin, E., Bozkurt, M., Do?an, M., Denkba?, E.B. (2014). Osteoblast response on co-modified titanium surfaces via anodization and electrospinning. Appl. Surf. Sci. 288, 143–148.

Berger, S., Hahn, R., Roy, P., Schmuki, P. (2010). Self-organized TiO2 nanotubes: Factors affecting their morphology and properties. Phys. Status Solidi B 247 (10), 2424–2435.

Berger, S., Albu, S.P., Schmidt-Stein, F., Hildebrand, H., Schmuki, P., Hammond, J.S., Reichlmaier, S. (2011). The origin for tubular growth of TiO2 nanotubes: A fluoride rich layer between tube-walls. Surf. Sci. 605 (19-20), L57–L60.

Bjursten, L.M., Rasmusson, L., Oh, S., Smith, G.C., Brammer, K.S., Jin, S. (2010). Titanium dioxide nanotubes enhance bone bonding in vivo. J. Biomed. Mater. Res.- A 92A (3), 1218–1224.

Brammer, K.S., Oh, S., Cobb, C.J., Bjursten, L.M., Heyde, H. Van Der, Jin, S. (2009). Improved bone-forming functionality on diameter-controlled TiO2 nanotube surface. Acta Biomater. 5 (8), 3215–3223. PMid:19447210

Browne, M., Gregson, P.J. (2000). Effect of mechanical surface pretreatment on metal ion release. Biomaterials 21 (4), 385–392.

Çali?kan, N., Bayram, C., Erdal, E., Karahalilo?lu, Z., Denkba?, E.B. (2014). Titania nanotubes with adjustable dimensions for drug reservoir sites and enhanced cell adhesion. Mat. Sci. Eng. C 35, 100–105. PMid:24411357

Chlebus, E., Ku?nicka, B., Kurzynowski, T., Dyba?a, B. (2011). Microstructure and mechanical behaviour of Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy produced by selective laser melting. Mater. Charact. 62 (5), 488–495.

Choe, H.C., Kim, W.G., Jeong, Y.H. (2010). Surface characteristics of HA coated Ti-30Ta-xZr and Ti-30Nb-xZr alloys after nanotube formation. Surf. Coat. Tech. 205 (Suppl. 1), S305–S311.

Cochran, D.L., Schenk, R.K., Lussi, A., Higginbottom, F.L., Buser, D. (1998). Bone response to unloaded and loaded titanium implants with a sandblasted and acid-etched surface: A histometric study in the canine mandible. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 40 (1), 1–11.<1::AID-JBM1>3.0.CO;2-Q

Cremasco, A., Osório, W.R., Freire, C.M., Garcia, A., Caram, R. (2008). Electrochemical corrosion behavior of a Ti-35Nb alloy for medical prostheses. Electrochim. Acta 53 (14), 4867–4874.

Cremasco, A., Messias, A.D., Esposito, A.R., Duek, E.A.D.R., Caram, R. (2011). Effects of alloying elements on the cytotoxic response of titanium alloys. Mat. Sci. Eng. C 31 (5), 833–839.

Das, K., Bose, S., Bandyopadhyay, A. (2007). Surface modifications and cell-materials interactions with anodized Ti. Acta Biomater. 3 (4), 573–585. PMid:17320494

Das, K., Bose, S., Bandyopadhyay, A. (2009). TiO2 nanotubes on Ti: Influence of nanoscale morphology on bone cell-materials interaction. J. Biomed. Mater. Res.-A 90A (1), 225–237. PMid:18496867

Diniz, M.G., Soares, G.A., Coelho, M.J., Fernandes, M.H. (2002). Surface topography modulates the osteogenesis in human bone marrow cell cultures grown on titanium samples prepared by a combination of mechanical and acid treatments. J. Mater. Sci. - Mater. M. 13 (4), 421–432.

Duraccio, D., Mussano, F., Faga, M.G. (2015). Biomaterials for dental implants: current and future trends. J. Mater. Sci. 50 (14), 4779–4812.

Eisenbarth, E., Velten, D., Müller, M., Thull, R., Breme, J. (2004). Biocompatibility of ?-stabilizing elements of titanium alloys. Biomaterials 25 (26), 5705–5713. PMid:15147816

Ferreira, C.P., Gonçalves, M.C., Caram, R., Bertazzoli, R., Rodrigues, C.A. (2013). Effects of substrate microstructure on the formation of oriented oxide nanotube arrays on Ti and Ti alloys. Appl. Surf. Sci. 285 (Part B), 226–234.

Han, C.M., Kim, H.E., Koh, Y.H. (2014). Creation of hierarchical micro/nano-porous TiO2 surface layer onto Ti implants for improved biocompatibility. Surf. Coat. Tech. 251, 226–231.

Hao, Y.Q., Li, S.J., Hao, Y.L., Zhao, Y.K., Ai, H.J. (2013). Effect of nanotube diameters on bioactivity of a multifunctional titanium alloy. Appl. Surf. Sci. 268, 44–51.

Iijima, D., Yoneyama, T., Doi, H., Hamanaka, H., Kurosaki, N. (2003). Wear properties of Ti and Ti-6Al-7Nb castings for dental prostheses. Biomaterials 24 (8), 1519–1524.

Jeong, Y.H., Kim, W.G., Choe, H.C., Brantley, W.A. (2014a). Control of nanotube shape and morphology on Ti–Nb(Ta)–Zr alloys by varying anodizing potential. Thin Solid Films 572, 105–112.

Jeong, Y.H., Kim, E.J., Brantley, W.A., Choe, H.C. (2014b). Morphology of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles in coatings on nanotube-formed Ti-Nb-Zr alloys for dental implants. Vacuum 107, 297–303.

Kim, W.G., Choe, H.C., Brantley, W.A. (2011). Nanostructured surface changes of Ti-35Ta-xZr alloys with changes in anodization factors. Thin Solid Films 519 (15), 4663–4667.

Kim, E.S., Jeong, Y.H., Choe, H.C., Brantley, W.A. (2013). Formation of titanium dioxide nanotubes on Ti-30Nb-xTa alloys by anodizing. Thin Solid Films 549, 141–146.

Kuroda, D., Niinomi, M., Morinaga, M., Kato, Y., Yashiro, T. (1998). Design and mechanical properties of new ? type titanium alloys for implant materials. Mat. Sci. Eng. A-Struct. 243 (1-2), 244–249.

Le Guehennec, L., Soueidan, A., Layrolle, P., Amouriq, Y. (2007). Surface treatments of titanium dental implants for rapid osseointegration. Dent. Mater. 23 (7), 844–854. PMid:16904738

Le Guehennec, L., Lopez-Heredia, M.-A., Enkel, B., Weiss, P., Amouriq, Y., Layrolle, P. (2008). Osteoblastic cell behaviour on different titanium implant surfaces. Acta Biomater. 4 (3), 535–543. PMid:18226985

Lee, K., Jeong, Y.H., Ko, Y.M., Choe, H.C., Brantley, W.A. (2013). Hydroxyapatite coating on micropore-formed titanium alloy utilizing electrochemical deposition. Thin Solid Films 549, 154–158.

Lee, W.S., Chen, C.W. (2013). High temperature impact properties and dislocation substructure of Ti-6Al-7Nb biomedical alloy. Mat. Sci. Eng. A-Struct. 576, 91–100.

Li, D., Ferguson, S.J., Beutler, T., Cochran, D.L., Sittig, C., Hirt, H.P., Buser, D. (2002). Biomechanical comparison of the sandblasted and acid-etched and the machined and acid-etched titanium surface for dental implants. J. Biomed. Mater. Res.-A 60 (2), 325–332. PMid:11857440

Long, M., Rack, H.J. (1998). Titanium alloys in total joint replacement--a materials science perspective. Biomaterials 19 (18), 1621–1639.

Lütjering, G. (1998). Influence of processing on microstructure and mechanical properties of (?+?) titanium alloys. Mat. Sci. Eng. A-Struct. 243 (1-2), 32–45.

Mendonça, G., Mendonça, D.B.S., Aragão, F.J.L., Cooper, L.F. (2008). Advancing dental implant surface technology – From micron-to nanotopography. Biomaterials 29 (28), 3822–3835. PMid:18617258

Minagar, S., Berndt, C.C., Wang, J., Ivanova, E., Wen, C. (2012). A review of the application of anodization for the fabrication of nanotubes on metal implant surfaces. Acta Biomater. 8 (8), 2875–2888. PMid:22542885

Minagar, S., Wang, J., Berndt, C.C., Ivanova, E.P., Wen, C. (2013). Cell response of anodized nanotubes on titanium and titanium alloys. J. Biomed. Mater. Res.-A 101A (9), 2726–2739. PMid:23436766

Mîndroiu, M., Pirvu, C., Ion, R., Demetrescu, I. (2010). Comparing performance of nanoarchitectures fabricated by Ti6Al7Nb anodizing in two kinds of electrolytes. Electrochim. Acta 56 (1), 193–202.

National Center for Health Statistics (2015). Health, United States, With Special Feature on Adults Aged 55-64, DHHS Publication Nº 2015-1232.

Nguyen, T.D.T., Park, I.S., Lee, M.H., Bae, T.S. (2013). Enhanced biocompatibility of a pre-calcified nanotubular TiO2 layer on Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy. Surf. Coat. Tech. 236, 127–134.

Niinomi, M. (1998). Mechanical properties of biomedical titanium alloys. Mat. Sci. Eng. A-Struct. 243 (1-2), 231–236.

Niinomi, M. (2008). Mechanical biocompatibilities of titanium alloys for biomedical applications. J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mater. 1 (1), 30–42. PMid:19627769

Okazaki, Y., Gotoh, E. (2005). Comparison of metal release from various metallic biomaterials in vitro. Biomaterials 26 (1), 11–21. PMid:15193877

Ossowska, A., Sobieszczyk, S., Supernak, M., Zielinski, A. (2014). Morphology and properties of nanotubular oxide layer on the "Ti–13Zr–13Nb" alloy. Surf. Coat. Tech. 258, 1239–1248.

Pan, J., Thierry, D., Leygraf, C. (1996). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy study of the passive oxide film on titanium for implant application. Electrochim. Acta 41 (7-8), 1143–1153.

Park, I.-S., Bae, T.-S. (2014). The bioactivity of enhanced Ti-32Nb-5Zr alloy with anodic oxidation and cyclic calcification. Int. J. Precis. Eng. Man. 15 (8), 1595–1600

Pypen, C.M.J.M., Plenk, H., Ebel, M.F., Svagera, R., Wernisch, J. (1997). Characterization of microblasted and reactive ion etched surfaces on the commercially pure metals niobium, tantalum and titanium. J. Mater. Sci. - Mater. M. 8 (12), 781–784.

Reyes-Coronado, D., Rodríguez-Gattorno, G., Espinosa-Pesqueira, M.E., Cab, C., de Coss, R., Oskam, G. (2008). Phase-pure TiO2 nanoparticles: anatase, brookite and rutile. Nanotechnology 19 (14), 145605. PMid:21817764

Ryan, G., Pandit, A., Apatsidis, D.P. (2006). Fabrication methods of porous metals for use in orthopaedic applications. Biomaterials 27 (13), 2651–2670. PMid:16423390

Salou, L., Hoornaert, A., Louarn, G., Layrolle, P. (2015). Enhanced osseointegration of titanium implants with nanostructured surfaces: An experimental study in rabbits. Acta Biomater. 11, 494–502. PMid:25449926

Semiatin, S.L., Ivasishin, O.M., Markovsky, P.E. Shevchenko, S.V., Ulshin, S.V. (2002). Grain growth and texture evolution in Ti Á 6Al Á 4V during beta annealing under continuous heating conditions. Mat. Sci. Eng. A-Struct. 337 (1-2), 88–96.

Sieniawski, J., Filip, R., Ziaja, W. (1997). The effect of microstructure on the mechanical properties of two-phase titanium alloys. Mater. Design 18 (4-6), 361–363.

Sista, S., Nouri, A., Li, Y., Wen, C., Hodgson, P.D., Pande, G. (2013). Cell biological responses of osteoblasts on anodized nanotubular surface of a titanium-zirconium alloy. J. Biomed. Mater. Res.-A 101 (12), 3416–3430. PMid:23559548

Tan, A.W., Pingguan-Murphy, B., Ahmad, R., Akbar, S.A. (2012). Review of titania nanotubes: Fabrication and cellular response. Ceram. Int. 38 (6), 4421–4435.

Xie, Y., Ao, H., Xin, S., Zheng, X., Ding, C. (2014). Enhanced cellular responses to titanium coating with hierarchical hybrid structure. Mat. Sci. Eng. C 38, 272–277. PMid:24656378

Yao, C., Webster, T.J. (2009). Prolonged antibiotic delivery from anodized nanotubular titanium using a co-precipitation drug loading method. J. Biomed. Mater. Res.-B 91B (2), 587–595. PMid:19582847

Yu, W.Q, Zhang, Y.L., Jiang, X.Q., Zhang, F.Q. (2010). In vitro behavior of MC3T3-E1 preosteoblast with different annealing temperature titania nanotubes. Oral Dis. 16 (7), 624–630. PMid:20604877

Zhao, Y., Xiong, T., Huang, W. (2010). Effect of heat treatment on bioactivity of anodic titania films. Appl. Surf. Sci. 256 (10), 3073–3076.

th CEIES Seminar (2002). Active ageing statistics, ISBN: 92-894-3296-9, Ed. European Commission, La Haya.



How to Cite

Lario-Femenía, J., Amigó-Mata, A., Vicente-Escuder, Ángel, Segovia-López, F., & Amigó-Borrás, V. (2016). Development of titanium alloys and surface treatments to increase the implants lifetime. Revista De Metalurgia, 52(4), e084.