Bio-functionalizing surface treatments are often applied for improving the bioactivity of biomaterials that are based on otherwise bioinert titanium alloys. When applied on highly porous titanium alloy structures intended for orthopedic bone regeneration purposes, such surface treatments could significantly change the static and fatigue properties of these structures and, thus, affect the application of the biomaterial as bone substitute. Therefore, the interplay between biofunctionalizing surface treatments and mechanical behavior needs to be controlled. In this paper, we studied the effects of two bio-functionalizing surface treatments, namely alkali-acid heat treatment (AlAcH) and acid-alkali (AcAl), on the static and fatigue properties of three different highly porous titanium alloy implants manufactured using selective laser melting. It was found that AlAcH treatment results in minimal mass loss. The static and fatigue properties of AlAcH specimens were therefore not much different from as-manufactured (AsM) specimens. In contrast, AcAl resulted in substantial mass loss and also in significantly less static and fatigue properties particularly for porous structures with the highest porosity. The ratio of the static mechanical properties of AcAl specimens to that of AsM specimen was in the range of 1.5-6. The fatigue lives of AcAl specimens were much more severely affected by the applied surface treatments with fatigue lives up to 23 times smaller than that of AsM specimens particularly for the porous structures with the highest porosity. In conclusion, the fatigue properties of surface treated porous titanium are dependent not only on the type of applied surface treatment but also on the porosity of the biomaterial.

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Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Department of Orthopaedics

Amin Yavari, S., Ahmadi, K., van der Stok, J., Wauthle, R., Riemslag, A. C., Janssen, M., … Zadpoor, A. A. (2014). Effects of bio-functionalizing surface treatments on the mechanical behavior of open porous titanium biomaterials. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 36, 109–119. doi:10.1016/j.jmbbm.2014.04.010