Document Type: Research Paper
Research Center for Advanced Materials, Faculty of Materials Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran
Institute of Polymeric Materials, Faculty of Polymer Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz, Iran.
In this study the bioactivity of hydroxyapatite/poly(ε-caprolactone)–poly(ethylene glycol) bilayer coatings on Nitinol superelastic alloy was investigated. The surface of Nitinol alloy was activated by a thermo-chemical treatment and hydroxyapatite coating was electrodeposited on the alloy, followed by applying the polymer coating. The surface morphology of coatings was studied using FE-SEM and SEM. The data revealed that the hydroxyapatite coating is composed of one-dimensional nano sized flakes and the polymer coating is uniformly covered the sublayer. Also, High resolution TEM studies on the hydroxyapatite samples revealed that each flake contains nano-crystalline grains with a diameter of about 15 nm. The hydroxyapatite monolayer coating was rapidly covered by calcium phosphate crystals (Ca/P=1.7) after immersion in simulated body fluid confirming the bioactivity of the nanostructured flakes. However, the flakes were weak against applied external forces because of their ultra-fine thickness. Scratch test was applied on hydroxyapatite/polymer coating to evaluate delamination of the coating from substrate. It was shown that, the polymer coating has a great influence on toughening the hydroxyapatite coating. To assess the degradation effect of the polymer layer on hydroxyapatite coating, samples were immersed in phosphate-buffered saline at 37 ᵒC. SEM studies on the samples revealed that the beneath layer of hydroxyapatite appears after 72 h without any visible change in morphology. It seems that, application of a biodegradable polymer film on the nanostructured hydroxyapatite coating is a good way to support the coating during implantation processes