Acta biomaterialia

Phase stability and biological property evaluation of plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite coatings for orthopedic and dental applications.

PMID 25638672


In this work we have investigated the effects of strontium (Sr) dopant on in vitro protein release kinetics and in vivo osteogenic properties of plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings, along with their dissolution behavior. Plasma sprayed HA coatings are widely used in load-bearing implants. Apart from osseointegration, the new generation of HA coating is expected to deliver biomolecules and/or drugs that can induce osteoinduction. This paper reports the preparation of crystalline and amorphous HA coatings on commercially pure titanium (Cp-Ti) using inductively coupled radio frequency (RF) plasma spray, and their stability at different solution pH. Coatings prepared at 110 mm working distance from the nozzle showed an average Ca ion release of 18 and 90 ppm in neutral and acidic environments, respectively. Decreasing the working distance to 90 mm resulted in the formation of a coating with less crystalline HA and phases with higher solubility products, and consequently higher dissolution over 32 days. A 92% release of a model protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) in phosphate buffer with pH of 7.4 was measured for Sr-doped HA (Sr-HA) coating, while only a 72% release could be measured for pure HA coating. Distortion of BSA during adsorption on coatings revealed a strong interaction between the protein and the coating, with an increase in α-helix content. Osteoid formation was found on Sr-HA implants as early as 7 weeks post implantation compared to HA coated and uncoated Ti implants. After 12 weeks post implantation, osteoid new bone was formed on HA implants; whereas, bone mineralization started on Sr-HA samples. While no osteoid was formed on bare Ti surfaces, bone was completely mineralized on HA and Sr-HA coatings after 16 weeks post implantation. Our results show that both phase stability and chemistry can have a significant influence toward in vitro and in vivo response of HA coatings on Ti implants.