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Improvement of osseointegration of Ti–6Al–4V ELI alloy orthodontic mini-screws through anodization, cyclic pre-calcification, and heat treatments

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Im, Changkyun; Park, Je-Hyeok; Jeon, Young-Mi; Kim, Jong-Ghee; Jang, Yong-Seok; Lee, Min-Ho; Jeon, Woo-Yong; Kim, Jun-Min; Bae, Tae-Sung

Issue Date
Progress in Orthodontics. 2022 Apr 04;23(1):11

Mini-screws are widely used as temporary anchorages in orthodontic treatment, but have the disadvantage of showing a high failure rate of about 10%. Therefore, orthodontic mini-screws should have high biocompatibility and retention. Previous studies have demonstrated that the retention of mini-screws can be improved by imparting bioactivity to the surface. The method for imparting bioactivity proposed in this paper is to sequentially perform anodization, periodic pre-calcification, and heat treatments with a Ti–6Al–4V ELI alloy mini-screw.

Materials and methods
A TiO2 nanotube-structured layer was formed on the surface of the Ti–6Al–4V ELI alloy mini-screw through anodization in which a voltage of 20V was applied to a glycerol solution containing 20 wt% H2O and 1.4 wt% NH4F for 60min. Fine granular calcium phosphate precipitates of HA and octacalcium phosphate were generated as clusters on the surface through the cyclic pre-calcification and heat treatments. The cyclic pre-calcification treatment is a process of immersion in a 0.05M NaH2PO4 solution and a saturated Ca(OH)2 solution at 90°C for 1min each.

It was confirmed that the densely structured protrusions were precipitated, and Ca and P concentrations, which bind and concentrate endogenous bone morphogenetic proteins, increased on the surface after simulated body fluid (SBF) immersion test. In addition, the removal torque of the mini-screw fixed into rabbit tibias for 4weeks was measured to be 8.70 ± 2.60Ncm.

A noteworthy point in this paper is that the Ca and P concentrations, which provide a scaffold suitable for endogenous bone formation, further increased over time after SBF immersion of the APH group specimens. The other point is that our mini-screws have a significantly higher removal torque compared to untreated mini-screws. These results represent that the mini-screw proposed in this paper can be used as a mini-screw for orthodontics.
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