The relationship between surface characteristics of titanium and initial interactions of titanium-osteoblasts was investigated. Titanium plates were heat-treated in different oxidation atmospheres. The third passage rabbit osteoblasts were cultured on the titanium plates for 24h. After the heat-treatment, the crystal structure of the surface oxide films on titanium was identified using X-ray diffractometer and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The surface roughness of titanium was measured with a profilometer. The surface energy was obtained by measurement of contact angles and calculation with Owens-Wendt-Kaeble's equation. The amount of surface hydroxyl (OH)sgroups was examined using XPS. The change of binding energy of the some elements on the substrate surface suggested that the interactions between the cells and the titanium involved chemical reactions. The greater surface roughness, higher surface energy and more surface hydroxyl groups resulted in greater numbers of adhered osteoblasts and higher cell activity. Compared to the acidic hydroxyl (OH)agroups in (OH)sgroups and the dispersion component of the total surface energy, the basic hydroxyl (OH)bgroups and the polar component play more important roles in the osteoblast-titanium interaction. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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