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Comparative analysis of the physical, chemical, and microbiological properties of Ti-6Al-4V disks produced by different methods and subjected to surface treatments.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM: To improve the osseointegration of dental implants and reduce microbiological growth, different micro- and nanoscale surface topographies can be used.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this in vitro study was to evaluate the influence of Ti-6Al-4V with 4 surfaces, machined (DU), machined+hydroxyapatite (DUHAp), machined+acid-alkali treatment (DUAA), and additive manufacturing (DMA), on the physical, chemical, and microbiological properties.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The topography of Ti-6Al-4V disks with the 4 surfaces was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the chemical composition by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and the crystalline structure by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Physical and chemical properties were analyzed by using wettability and surface free energy, roughness, and microbial adhesion against Staphylococcus aureus by colony forming units (CFU). One-way ANOVA analysis of variance and the Tukey multiple comparisons test were applied to evaluate the data, except CFU, which was submitted to the Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric test (α=.05).

RESULTS: DU photomicrographs showed a topography characteristic of a polished machined surface, DUHAp and DUAA exhibited patterns corresponding to the surface modifications performed, and in DMA the presence of partially fused spherical particles was observed. The EDS identified chemical elements inherent in the Ti-6Al-4V, and the DUHAp and DUAA disks also had the ions from the treatments applied. XRD patterns revealed similarities between DU and DMA, as well as characteristic peaks of hydroxyapatite (HA) in the DUHAp disk and the DUAA. Compared with DU and DMA the DUHAp and DUAA groups showed hydrophilic behavior with smaller contact angles and higher surface free energy (P<.05). DMA showed a higher mean value of roughness, different from the others (P<.05), and a higher CFU for S. aureus (P=.006).

CONCLUSIONS: DUHAp and DUAA showed similar behaviors regarding wettability, surface free energy, and bacterial adhesion. Among the untreated groups, DMA exhibited higher roughness, bacterial adhesion, and lower wettability and surface free energy.

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