Balancing biofunctional and biomechanical properties using porous titanium reinforced by carbon nanotubes

Juan Jose Pavón, Diana López, Fanor Mondragón, Jaime Gallego, Sandra L. Arias, Kara Luitjohan, Brandon Holybee, Yadir Torres, José A. Rodríguez, Mónica Echeverry-Rendón, Ana Civantos, Jean Paul Allain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Despite the well-known advantages of the titanium-based implant systems, they still lack an optimal balance between biofunctionality and mechanical strength, especially regarding the modulation of cellular response and a desired implant osseointegration. In this work, we fabricated a nanocomposite based on porous commercially pure grade 4 titanium (c.p. Ti) reinforced with carbon nanotubes (CNT) at 5% and 10% w/w, with the aim of obtaining a nanocomposite with lower stiffness compared to traditional titanium-based implants and with the mechanical strength and bioactivity owed by the CNT. Results obtained by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy characterization showed that the CNT dispersed and incorporated into the porous c.p. Ti matrix. Interestingly, CNT were associated with a higher twining within neighbor Ti grains, which was indeed consistent with an increased in nano-hardness. Biological evaluation by MTT and Comet assay revealed that the nanocomposites did not induce genotoxicity and cytotoxicity on two different cells lines despite the presence of nickel at the surface. Accordingly, a purification step would be required before these CNT can be used for biomedical applications. Our results indicate that incorporation of CNT into porous c.p. Ti is a promising avenue to achieve an adequate balance between biofunctionality and mechanical strength in Ti-based scaffolds for tissue replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-731
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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