A simple chemical method was established for inducing bioactivity of titanium and its alloys. Recently, T. Kokubo demonstrated that an in vitro chemical-deposited bone-like apatite on Ti with bone-bonding ability could be induced. Following treatment, a dense bone-like apatite layer is formed on the surface of the titanium in simulated body fluid (SBF). Observation of the samples in wet state by means of the environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) enabled us to observe the calcium phosphate deposition process in situ over a number of days. One of the most important features of the study is that it was carried out on a single, unchanged titanium sample and the process was not at any stage interrupted. Moreover, it was demonstrated that human osteoblast adhesion and differentiation behaviour are better in bioactive titanium than in the titanium without the chemical treatment.
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This work was supported by CICYT project MAT-98-0415 and by Klockner Impants. The authors are specially grateful to Mercedes Roldán Chesa.