Passive Film Growth on Titanium Alloys: Physicochemical and Biologic Considerations
The role of reactive oxygen derivatives (hydroxy peroxide, hydroxyl radical, and singlet oxygen) on the precipitation of inorganic and organic complexes onto the surface of titanium implant alloys is discussed in this review. In addition, the effect of possible implication of several biologic entities surrounding the implant on the implant-tissue interface constituents is described. Evidence from relevant studies suggests that local microenvironmental byproducts and factors associated with the inflammatory response resulting from the implant-induced tissue insult may enhance the expressivity of the inherent, clinically important property of titanium to form oxides. Growth of titnium oxide may be explained through several processes derived from biologic, thermodynamic, and electrochemical approaches. The models proposed to interpret this phenomenon are often contradictory, demonstrating inward or outward from the bulk material passive film growth, with increasing or self-limiting levels of oxide formation as a function of time. However, in vivo observations are consistent with aging-induced thickening of the complexes precipitated on the implant material surface. This review attempts to clarify several critical issues pertaining to passive film formation and kinetics on titanium-alloy surfaces.