Improving Pure Titanium’s Biological and Mechanical Characteristics through ECAP and Micro-Arc Oxidation Processes

Dawit Bogale Alemayehu, Masahiro Todoh, Jang Hsing Hsieh, Chuan Li, Song Jeng Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pure titanium is limited to be used in biomedical applications due to its lower mechanical strength compared to its alloy counterpart. To enhance its properties and improve medical implants feasibility, advancements in titanium processing technologies are necessary. One such technique is equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) for its severe plastic deformation (SPD). This study aims to surface modify commercially pure titanium using micro-arc oxidation (MAO) or plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) technologies, and mineral solutions containing Ca and P. The composition, metallography, and shape of the changed surface were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), digital optical microscopy (OM), and scanning electron microscope (SEM), respectively. A microhardness test is conducted to assess each sample’s mechanical strength. The weight % of Ca and P in the coating was determined using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and the corrosion resistance was evaluated through potentiodynamic measurement. The behavior of human dental pulp cell and periodontal cell behavior was also studied through a biomedical experiment over a period of 1-, 3-, and 7-days using culture medium, and the cell death and viability can be inferred with the help of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) since it can detect proteins or biomarkers secreted by cells undergoing apoptosis or necrosis. This study shows that the mechanical grain refinement method and surface modification might improve the mechanical and biomechanical properties of commercially pure (CP) titanium. According to the results of the corrosion loss measurements, 2PassMAO had the lowest corrosion rate, which is determined to be 0.495 mmpy. The electrode potentials for the 1-pass and 2-pass coated samples are 1.44 V and 1.47 V, respectively. This suggests that the coating is highly effective in reducing the corrosion rate of the metallic CP Ti sample. Changes in the grain size and the presence of a high number of grain boundaries have a significant impact on the corrosion resistance of CP Ti. For ECAPED and surface-modified titanium samples in a 3.6% NaCl electrolyte solution, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) properties are similar to Nyquist and Bode plot fitting. In light of ISO 10993-5 guidelines for assessing in vitro cytotoxicity, this study contributes valuable insights into pulp and periodontal cell behavior, focusing specifically on material cytotoxicity, a critical factor determined by a 30% decrease in cell viability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1541
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • AlamarBlue
  • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP)
  • micro-arc oxidation (MAO)
  • periodontal cell
  • pulp cell
  • severe plastic deformation (SPD)


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