In vitro and in vivo performance of bioactive Ti6Al4V/TiC/HA implants fabricated by a rapid microwave sintering technique

Man Tik Choy, Chak Yin Tang, Ling Chen, Chi Tak Wong, Chi Pong Tsui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Failure of the bone-implant interface in a joint prosthesis is a main cause of implant loosening. The introduction of a bioactive substance, hydroxyapatite (HA), to a metallic bone-implant may enhance its fixation on human bone by encouraging direct bone bonding. Ti6Al4V/TiC/HA composites with a reproducible porous structure (porosity of 27% and pore size of 6-89 μm) were successfully fabricated by a rapid microwave sintering technique. This method allows the biocomposites to be fabricated in a short period of time under ambient conditions. Ti6Al4V/TiC/HA composites exhibited a compressive strength of 93 MPa, compressive modulus of 2.9 GPa and microhardness of 556 HV which are close to those of the human cortical bone. The in vitro preosteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells cultured on the Ti6Al4V/TiC/HA composite showed that the composite surface could provide a biocompatible environment for cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation without any cytotoxic effects. This is among the first attempts to study the in vivo performance of load-bearing Ti6Al4V/TiC and Ti6Al4V/TiC/HA composites in a live rabbit. The results indicated that the Ti6Al4V/TiC/HA composite had a better bone-implant interface compared with the Ti6Al4V/TiC implant. Based on the microstructural features, the mechanical properties, and the in vitro and in vivo test results from this study, the Ti6Al4V/TiC/HA composites have the potential to be employed in load-bearing orthopedic applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-756
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


  • Hydroxyapatite
  • In vitro test
  • In vivo test
  • Microwave
  • Sintering
  • Titanium alloy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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