In cementless fixation of metallic prostheses, bony ingrowth onto the implant surface is often promoted by osteoconductive plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite coatings. The present work explores the use of the innovative High Velocity Suspension Flame Spraying (HVSFS) process to coat Ti substrates with thin homogeneous hydroxy- apatite coatings. The HVSFS hydroxyapatite coatings studied were dense, 27–37 μm thick, with some transverse microcracks. La- mellae were sintered together and nearly unidentifiable, unlike conventional plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite. Crystallinities of 10%–70% were obtained, depending on the deposition parameters and the use of a TiO2 bond coat. The average hardness of layers with low (b24%) and high (70%) crystallinity was ≈3.5 GPa and ≈4.5 GPa respectively. The distributions of hardness values, all characterised by Weibull modulus in the 5–7 range, were narrower than that of conventional plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite, with a Weibull modulus of ≈3.3. During soaking in simulated body fluid, glassy coatings were progressively resorbed and replaced by a new, pre- cipitated hydroxyapatite layer, whereas coatings with 70% crystallinity were stable up to 14 days of immersion. The interpretation of the precipitation behaviour was also assisted by surface charge assessments, performed through Z-potential measurements. During in vitro tests, HA coatings showed no cytotoxicity towards the SAOS-2 osteoblast cell line, and surface cell proliferation was comparable with proliferation on reference polystyrene culture plates.
Suspension thermal spraying of hydroxyapatite: microstructure and in vitro behaviour / Bolelli, Giovanni; Bellucci, Devis; Cannillo, Valeria; Lusvarghi, Luca; Sola, Antonella; N., Stiegler; P., Müller; A., Killinger; R., Gadow; L., Altomare; L., De Nardo. - In: MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. C, BIOMIMETIC MATERIALS, SENSORS AND SYSTEMS. - ISSN 0928-4931. - STAMPA. - 34:(2014), pp. 287-303. [10.1016/j.msec.2013.09.017]