Table of Contents
ISRN Biomaterials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 970535, 8 pages
Research Article

Viability of Titanium-Titanium Boride Composite as a Biomaterial

1Department of Mechanical Engineering, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
2Department of Biology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182, USA

Received 16 April 2013; Accepted 4 June 2013

Academic Editors: W.-C. Chen, C. Galli, J. Toppari, and J. Wang

Copyright © 2013 F. M. Makau et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The use of reinforcements to enhance mechanical properties of titanium such as hardness has been adopted by many researchers. Of these reinforcements, titanium boride has emerged as one of the most suitable reinforcements for titanium which is both chemically and mechanically compatible with the titanium matrix. Despite the extensive work conducted on these types of composites, very little is known about their biocompatibility which has so far precluded their use in bioapplications. The present paper investigates, for the first time, the biocompatibility of powder-processed titanium-titanium boride ( ) composites for use in medical and dental implants and basic studies on fibroblast attachment conducted to assess for this application. The work is intended to serve as an initial step towards understanding the bioresponse of these composites by evaluating cytotoxicity, cellular attachment and morphology, and hemolytic potential. Results indicate that fibroblasts attach, proliferate, and achieve confluency when in contact with the composites, exhibiting normal morphology. Furthermore, the cells show a favorable growth rate when cultured with the composite for 48 hours. The composite demonstrated excellent blood biocompatibility, with a low hemolysis level (0.12% ) when compared with CP Ti (0.17%) and Ti-6Al-4V (0.36%). These findings suggest that composite is biocompatible and further investigation into its suitability as a biomaterial should be considered.