Some of the critical properties for a successful orthopedic or dental implant material are its biocompatibility and bioactivity. Pure titanium (Ti) and zirconium (Zr) are widely accepted as biocompatible metals, due to their non-toxicity. While the bioactivity of Ti and some Ti alloys has been extensively investigated, there is still insufficient data for Zr and titanium-zirconium (TiZr) alloys. In the present study, the bioactivity, that is, the apatite forming ability on the alkali and heat treated surfaces of Ti, Zr, and TiZr alloy in simulated body fluid (SBF), was studied. In particular, the effect of the surface roughness characteristics on the bioactivity was evaluated for the first time. The results indicate that the pretreated Ti, Zr and TiZr alloy could form apatite coating on their surfaces. It should be noted that the surface roughness also critically affected the bioactivity of these pretreated metallic samples. A surface morphology with an average roughness of approximately 0.6 microm led to the fastest apatite formation on the metal surfaces. This apatite layer on the metal surface is expected to bond to the surrounding bones directly after implantation.
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