The use of Nitinol for medical purposes was first reported in the late 1960’s. Today Nitinol is commonly used for the manufacture of stents, which are primarily used in peripheral and coronary bypass graft interventions. The application of NiTi in orthopedics is an exciting prospect but one that has yet to be realized. Nitinol’s unique mechanical behavior is derived from the coordinated atomic movements manifesting in phase transformations from cubic austenite to monoclinic martensite. These phase transformations are solid-to-solid phase transformations that occur without diffusion or plasticity, potentially making them reversible. They involve changes in the crystalline structure that can be induced by changes in either temperature or stress. In addition to phase transformations, Nitinol’s mechanical strength is strongly dependent on the alloy composition and the method in which the material is processed, i.e. rolled, drawn, extruded, or forged. The mechanical work, combined with the intermediate heat treatment steps, contribute to modify microstructure, transformation temperatures and mechanical properties. These manufacturing processing steps lead to texturing (crystallographic alignment) of the material. Alignment of the atomic planes from texture in the polycrystalline material have a marked influence on the mechanical response by either limiting or promoting phase transformations and shape recovery strains. Nitinol is an established biomaterial, whose biocompatibility is heavily grounded on the inertness of titanium based oxides that usually dominate the surface exterior. Surfaces that vary significantly in their chemistry, topography and corrosion resistance have different degrees of biocompatibility. As such, a better understanding of the biological response of NiTi’s surfaces with different crystallographic textures in needed. In the present research, a macrophage study is performed whereby 6 plates that are highly textured NiTi with different surface finishes are incubated with cells for approximately 3 days and then tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a pro-inflammatory cytokine production and cellular proliferation are assessed.

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