Titanium and its alloys are known by their unique combination of properties, such as high specific strength, excellent corrosion resistance in aqueous media, and low elastic modulus. Titanium also presents good biocompatibility, given by the stable and inert titanium dioxide (TiO2) layer that spontaneously form on its surface. TiO2 can also grow in the form of nanotubes or nanowires on the surface of titanium by using a simple anodization process in a fluoride containing electrolyte. The literature shows that such TiO2 nanostructures improve implant biocompatibility by creating a good environment for cell adhesion and proliferation, which promotes a better bonding of the implant to bone. Moreover, the geometry of the TiO2 nanotubes makes them suitable for controlled drug delivery (CDD) applications. The drug can be inserted into the nanotubes and be delivered at a desired rate or under the action of an external stimulus, such as body temperature, pH, magnetism, among others. Our previous results showed that the beta-type Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta (TNZT) alloy is an excellent substrate for the growth of TiO2 nanotubes and nanowires. This project intends to create a CDD system based on TiO2 nanotubes grown over a TNZT alloy. First, the nanotube morphology obtained with different anodizing parameters will be evaluated to select the most adequate for CDD. Antimicrobials will be incorporated in the nanotubes and different delivery systems (coatings) will be tested. The drug delivery will be evaluated by in vitro tests and the TiO2 solubility (long-term stability) in a simulated body fluid will be measured.
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