Adherent and optically semitransparent thin calcium phosphate (CaP) films were electrochemically deposited on titanium substrates in a modified simulated body fluid at 37°C. Coatings deposited by using periodic pulsed potentials showed better adhesion and better mechanical properties than coatings deposited with use of a constant potential. Scanning electron microscopy was used to study the morphology of the coatings. The coatings displayed a polydispersed porous structure with pores in the range of a few nanometers to 1 μm. Furthermore, X-ray diffractometry and the O(1s) satellite peaks in X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicated that the coatings possessed a similar surface chemistry to that of natural bone minerals. These results were confirmed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, which yielded a Ca:P ratio of 1.65, close to that of hydroxyapatite. Contact mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed the average thickness of the coatings was in the order of 200 nm. Root-mean-square (RMS) roughness values, also derived by AFM, were shown to be much higher on the titanium-CaP surfaces in comparison with untreated titanium substrates, with RMS values of about 300 and 110 nm, respectively. Cell culture experiments showed that the CaP surfaces are nontoxic to MG63 osteoblastic cells in vitro and were able to support cell growth for up to 4 days, outperforming the untreated titanium surface in a direct comparison. These easily prepared coatings show promise for hard-tissue biomaterials.
- Atomic force microscopy
- Calcium phosphate coatings
- Electrochemical deposition
- X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy