This paper reports the use of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to investigate bisphosphonate (BP) adsorption onto plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings commonly used for orthopaedic implants. BPs exhibit high binding affinity for the calcium present in HA and hence can be adsorbed onto HA-coated implants to exploit their beneficial properties for improved bone growth at the implant interface. A rigorous XPS analysis of pamidronate, a commonly used nitrogenous BP, adsorbed onto plasma sprayed HA-coated cobalt-chromium substrates has been carried out, aimed at: (a) confirming the adsorption of this BP onto HA; (b) studying the BP diffusion profile in the HA coating by employing the technique of XPS depth profiling; (c) confirming the bioactivity of the adsorbed BP. XPS spectra of plasma sprayed HA-coated discs exposed to a 10 mM aqueous BP solution (pamidronate) for periods of 1, 2 and 24 h showed nitrogen and phosphorous photoelectron signals corresponding to the BP, confirming its adsorption onto the HA substrate. XPS depth profiling of the 2 h BP-exposed HA discs showed penetration of the BP into the HA matrix to depths of at least 260 nm. The bioactivity of the adsorbed BP was confirmed by the observed inhibition of osteoclast (bone resorbing) cell activity. In comparison to the HA sample, the HA sample with adsorbed BP exhibited a 25-fold decrease in primary osteoclast cells.
- X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)