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Selenium Medical offers a new structural etching process for titanium alloys named StarSurf®. It originally appeared in 2015 with NanoSurf®: an exclusive structural etching process dedicated for one of its major client in the dental industry. Etching is a key surface finishing step that creates implant surface roughness, increases wettability and improves osseo-integration properties. Besides of micro and nano roughnesses, implants surface contains macro porosities.
This treatment can be applied on TA6V ELI medical grade titanium alloys implants which provide better mechanical properties compared to basic titanium alloys. The first developed applications could not only be assigned to other sectors (eg: dental sector) but also suited to client specifications (spine, maxillofacial, etc.)
The treatment is carried out in three steps, as follows:
Step 1: implants are sandblasted with an abrasive presenting no risk of alteration for the implants biocompatibility properties. This first blasting allows porosities of several dozen microns in diameter.
Step 2: the second step is a chemical etching process that creates porosities of some microns in diameter and depth, homogeneously spread on all implant surface (1 up to 10 μm).
Step 3: this last step is a chemical etching process that creates a tissue of nanometer-sized porosities on the surface of the implant (< 1 μm).
The microscope images demonstrate a very uneven and rough surface. The surface shows porosities of dozen microns in diameter, each containing porosities of some microns in diameter and depth. These same micro-porosities contain porosities below one micron in diameter and depth (several tens of nanometers).