Sol-gel synthesis of tantalum oxide and phosphonic acid-modified carbon nanotubes composite coatings on titanium surfaces

Anthony Maho, Simon Detriche, Joseph Delhalle, Zineb Mekhalif

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Carbon nanotubes used as fillers in composite materials are more and more appreciated for the outstanding range of accessible properties and functionalities they generate in numerous domains of nanotechnologies. In the framework of biological and medical sciences, and particularly for orthopedic applications and devices (prostheses, implants, surgical instruments,.), titanium substrates covered by tantalum oxide/carbon nanotube composite coatings have proved to constitute interesting and successful platforms for the conception of solid and biocompatible biomaterials inducing the osseous regeneration processes (hydroxyapatite growth, osteoblasts attachment). This paper describes an original strategy for the conception of resistant and homogeneous tantalum oxide/carbon nanotubes layers on titanium through the introduction of carbon nanotubes functionalized by phosphonic acid moieties (P(O)(OH)2). Strong covalent CP bonds are specifically inserted on their external sidewalls with a ratio of two phosphonic groups per anchoring point. Experimental results highlight the stronger "tantalum capture agent" effect of phosphonic-modified nanotubes during the sol-gel formation process of the deposits compared to nanotubes bearing oxidized functions (OH, CO, C(O)OH). Particular attention is also paid to the relative impact of the rate of functionalization and the dispersion degree of the carbon nanotubes in the coatings, as well as their wrapping level by the tantalum oxide matrix material. The resulting effect on the in vitro growth of hydroxyapatite is also evaluated to confirm the primary osseous bioactivity of those materials. Chemical, structural and morphological features of the different composite deposits described herein are assessed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electronic microscopies, energy dispersive X-rays analysis (EDX) and peeling tests. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2686-2697
Number of pages12
JournalMaterials Science & Engineering C
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


  • Biomaterials
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Phosphonic acid
  • Sol-gel
  • Tantalum oxide
  • Titanium

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