Critical overview of Nitinol surfaces and their modifications for medical applications

TitleCritical overview of Nitinol surfaces and their modifications for medical applications
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsShabalovskaya S, Anderegg J, Van Humbeeck J
Journal TitleActa Biomaterialia
Date PublishedMay
Type of ArticleReview
ISBN Number1742-7061
Accession NumberISI:000255790500001
KeywordsB, biocompatibility, CORONARY-ARTERIES, corrosion, corrosion-resistance, IMMERSION ION-IMPLANTATION, mechanical-properties, Ni release, NICKEL-TITANIUM ALLOY, nitinol, ORTHODONTIC ARCHWIRES, PALMAZ-SCHATZ STENTS, shape-memory alloys, surface modifications

Nitinol, a group of nearly equiatomic shape memory and superelastic NiTi alloys, is being extensively explored for medical applications. Release of Ni in the human body, a potential problem with Nitinol implant devices, has stimulated a great deal of research on its surface modifications and coatings. In order to use any of the developed surfaces in implant designs, it is important to understand whether they really have advantages over bare Nitinol. This paper overviews the current situation, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of new surfaces as well as the limitations of the studies performed. It presents a comprehensive analysis of surface topography, chemistry, corrosion behavior, nickel release and biological responses to Nitinol surfaces modified mechanically or using such methods as etching in acids and alkaline solutions, electropolishing, heat and ion beam treatments, boiling in water and autoclaving, conventional and ion plasma implantations, laser melting and bioactive coating deposition. The analysis demonstrates that the presently developed surfaces vary in thickness from a few nanometers to micrometers, and that they can effectively prevent Ni release if the surface integrity is maintained under strain and if no Ni-enriched sub-layers are present. Whether it is appropriate to use various low temperature pretreatment protocols (<= 160 degrees C) developed originally for pure titanium for Nitinol surface modifications and coatings is also discussed. The importance of selection of original Nitinol surfaces with regard to the performance of coatings and comparative performance of controls in the studies is emphasized. Considering the obvious advantages of bare Nitinol surfaces for superelastic implants, details of their preparation are also outlined. (c) 2008 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Alternate JournalActa Biomater.