Binary Ti alloys containing Fe, Mo, V and Zr were micro-arc oxidized and hydrothermally treated to obtain micro- and nano-porous layers. This study aimed to investigate cell differentiation on micro and micro/nanoporous oxide layers of Ti alloys. The properties of the porous layer formed on Ti alloys were characterized by X-ray diffraction pattern, microstructural and elemental analyses and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) method. The MTT assay, total protein production and alkaline phosphatase (ALPase) activity were evaluated using human osteoblast-like cells (MG-63). Microporous structures of micro-arc oxidized Ti alloys were changed to micro/nanoporous surfaces after hydrothermal treatment. Micro/nanoporous surfaces consisted of acicular TiO2
nanoparticles and micron-sized hydroxyapatite particles. From ICP and MTT tests, the Mo and V ions released from porous oxide layers were positive for cell viability, while the released Fe ions were negative for cell viability. Although the micro/nanoporous surfaces led to a lower total protein content than the polished and microporous Ti surfaces after cell incubation for 7 days, they caused higher ALPase activities after 7 days and 14 days of incubation except for V-containing microporous surfaces. The micro/nanoporous surfaces of Ti alloys were more efficient in inducing MG-63 cell differentiation.
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