Porous NiTi shape memory alloys produced by SHS: microstructure and biocompatibility in comparison with Ti2Ni and TiNi3

Paola Bassani, Silvia Panseri, Andrea Ruffini, Monica Montesi, Martina Ghetti, Claudio Zanotti, Anna Tampieri, Ausonio Tuissi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Shape memory alloys based on NiTi have found their main applications in manufacturing of new biomedical devices mainly in surgery tools, stents and orthopedics. Porous NiTi can exhibit an engineering elastic modulus comparable to that of cortical bone (12–17 GPa). This condition, combined with proper pore size, allows good osteointegration. Open cells porous NiTi was produced by self propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS), starting from Ni and Ti mixed powders. The main NiTi phase is formed during SHS together with other Ni–Ti compounds. The biocompatibility of such material was investigated by single culture experiment and ionic release on small specimen. In particular, NiTi and porous NiTi were evaluated together with elemental Ti and Ni reference metals and the two intermetallic TiNi3, Ti2Ni phases. This approach permitted to clearly identify the influence of secondary phases in porous NiTi materials and relation with Ni-ion release. The results indicated, apart the well-known high toxicity of Ni, also toxicity of TiNi3, whilst phases with higher Ti content showed high biocompatibility. A slightly reduced biocompatibility of porous NiTi was ascribed to combined effect of TiNi3 presence and topography that requires higher effort for the cells to adapt to the surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2277-2285
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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