The company asked us to do elemental analysis for multiple dental implant components in order to confirm the quality of the metals. Due to the difficult three-dimensional shape of the substrates, the studies were carried out using a high resolution scanning electron microscope “Helios NanoLab 600” (FEI), equipped with an energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) analyzer INCA Energy 350 (Oxford Instruments). The samples were attached to the mushroom-shaped holders with a carbon tape. The studies showed that the metals used by Biometric OÜ are indeed high quality medical titanium. We also made high resolution images of the implants surface, which has been developed to be biocompatible, support osseointegration and have a good adhesion with the surrounding tissue.
Studied dental implant components (on the left) and the surface of an advanced dental implant (on the right).
The titanium sublimation pump is a vacuum pump used as a part of vacuum systems in order to briefly improve the level of #vacuum. The working principle is relatively simple. A pulsing current passes through a titanium filament, causing it to sublimate (goes directly from solid phase to gas phase). The fresh titanium chemically reacts with gas in the vacuum chamber, creating a solid product that deposits on the chamber walls. As the walls are also coated with highly reactive freshly deposited titanium, they may also chemically bind gas molecules that interact with them. Some gases may not chemically bind with titanium but can still be physically trapped under the titanium atoms on the chambers walls.
Anodizing is an electrochemical process where a thicker oxide layer is grown on the material. This is useful for improving an objects corrosion and wear resistance, manufacture nanoporous templates or give the material a decorative appearance. Not all materials can be anodized however as their oxides are not dense and hard but the technique has been widely used on aluminum, titanium, zinc, magnesium and their alloys.
The anodizing system consists of a power source, anodizing bath, electrolyte and anodizable material. The bath is usually made from a chemically resistant conductive material such as stainless steel and serves as a cathode. The anodizable material serves as an anode and is placed inside the anodizing bath with the electrolyte. Both the anode and the cathode need to be connected to the power source. The grown oxide layers properties depend on the material, used electrolyte, temperature and electrical parameters used for anodizing.
In order to produce a uniform oxide layer, the substrates are also treated before the process. The main problem is usually organic contamination of the surface, which prevents growth of the oxide layer. This is removed with organic solvents such as acetone. Often the thin native oxide layer is also removed via etching before the anodizing.