Electrodeposition of Sr-substituted hydroxyapatite on low modulus beta-type Ti-45Nb and effect on in vitro Sr release and cell response

Matthias Schumacher, Annett Gebert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Beta-type Ti-based alloys are promising new materials for bone implants owing to their excellent mechanical biofunctionality and biocompatibility. For treatment of fractures in case of systemic diseases like osteoporosis the generation of implant surfaces which actively support the problematic bone healing is a most important aspect. This work aimed at developing suitable approaches for electrodeposition of Sr-substituted hydroxyapatite (Srx-HAp) coatings onto Ti-45Nb. Potentiodynamic polarization measurements in electrolytes with 1.67 mmol/L Ca(NO3)(2), which was substituted by 0, 10, 50 and 100% Sr(NO3)(2), and 1 mmol/L NH4H2PO4 at 333 K revealed the basic reaction steps for OH- and PO43- formation needed for the chemical precipitation of Srx-HAp. Studies under potentiostatic control confirmed that partial or complete substitution of Ca2+- by Sr2+-ions in solution has a significant effect on the complex reaction process. High Sr2+-ion contents yield intermediate phases and a subsequent growth of more refined Srx-HAp coatings. Upon galvanostatic pulse-deposition higher reaction rates are controlled and in all electrolytes very fine needle-like crystalline coatings are obtained. With XRD the incorporation of Sr-species in the hexagonal HAp lattice is evidenced. Coatings formed in electrolytes with 10 and 50% Sr-nitrate were chemically analyzed with EDX mapping and GD-OES depth profiling. Only a fraction of the Sr-ions in solution is incorporated into the Srx-HAp coatings. Therein, the Sr-distribution is laterally homogeneous but non-homogeneous along the cross-section. Increasing Sr-content retards the coating thickness growth. Most promising coatings formed in the electrolyte with 10% Sr-nitrate were employed for Ca, P and Sr release analysis in Tris-Buffered Saline (150 mM NaCl, pH 7.6) at 310 K. At a sample surface: solution volume ratio of 1:200, after 24 h the amount of released Sr-ions was about 30-35% of that determined in the deposited Srx-HAp coating. In vitro studies with human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC) revealed that the released Sr-ions led to a significantly enhanced cell proliferation and osteogenic differentiation and that the Sr-HAp surface supported cell adhesion indicating its excellent cytocompatibility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110425
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials Science & Engineering C-Materials for Biological Applications
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Titanium alloy
  • Metallic implant
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Strontium
  • Electrodeposition
  • hBMSC
  • TI


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