Bone-like apatite coatings were prepared using a biomimetic method in a modified simulated body fluid (m-SBF). The effect of the m-SBF volume on the apatite coating quality was studied. Three m-SBF volumes, 50, 100, and 200 mL, were employed to immerse titanium substrates in a sealed container so as to produce apatite coatings with different properties, namely types I, type II, and type III apatite coatings, respectively. The coatings were characterized using X-ray diffraction and environmental scanning electron microscope. The bonding between the coating and the Ti substrate was evaluated using an adhesive strength test. All three apatite coatings demonstrated a poorly crystallized structure, and the coatings formed exhibited a uniformed surface morphology. Further increasing the m-SBF volume, small globules of apatite started to form on the surface of the coating. The bonding strength for the three coating systems were 8.52 +/- 2.41, 10.36 +/- 2.78, and 17.23 +/- 2.55 MPa for types I, II, and III apatite coatings, respectively. The failure analyses suggested that type III coating failed mostly at the interface between the coating and the substrate, while type I and II coatings failed mostly within the apatite coating. Our study revealed that a dense, thick, well-adhered apatite coating could be achieved by carefully controlling the volume of m-SBF. (C) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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