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Title: Biocompatible carbon nanotube/β-titanium alloy composite materials
Author: Stepina, Nataliia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 9421
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis describes a study of the modifications of orthopaedic Ti-based substrates using nanomaterials, and the evaluation of their biocompatibility for further use as implant material, with the aim to develop new, biocompatible β-Ti/CNT composite materials. Traditionally, CNTs require the presence of a transition metal catalyst such as Fe, Ni, Co, for successful growth. Different aspects of a catalyst-assisted CVD MWCNTs growth on various Ti-based substrates including bulk, thin films and 3D porous scaffolds, have been investigated. Low concentrations of catalyst were deposited using spin coating on titanium substrates of various forms and shapes. A strong influence of the surface topography was observed. In contrast, no effect of the elemental composition of the substrate could be detected. To evaluate the biocompatibility of the newly created materials, cell culture studies using fetal human osteoblasts (fHobs) were performed. It was shown that β-Ti/MWCNTs samples possess good initial osteoblast attachment, but no long-term osteoblast activity. Hence the biocompatibility of isolated (i.e. without a Ti substrate) MWCNTs was studied, using MWCNT carpets and various types of MWCNTs buckypapers. All the samples revealed very low cell activity. While β-Ti/MWCNTs samples did not exhibit good biocompatibility, alternative β-Ti/TiC samples were synthesized with a simple CVD method and revealed good osteoblast response with increased mineralization. Moreover, good corrosion resistance and mechanical properties of β-Ti/TiC samples have been reported. Finally, successful method for non-catalytic CVD MWCNTs growth on Ti substrates was developed for the first time, thereby excluding potentially toxic catalysts from the implant material. CVD was performed with acetylene precursor on bulk titanium substrates etched with Piranha solution, which generated an appropriate surface to foster MWCNTs growth. A combination of the change in the surface roughness, improved hydrophilicity, and elemental composition of the surface as a result of the Piranha etching is likely to be responsible for the successful formation of MWCNTs.
Supervisor: Grobert, Nicole Sponsor: BioTiNet Marie Curie Initial Training Network
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nanotechnology ; Materials ; Carbon nanotubes ; titanium ; biocompatibility