Texturing of titanium (Ti6Al4V) medical implant surfaces with MHz-repetition-rate femtosecond and picosecond Yb-doped fiber lasers
We propose and demonstrate the use of short pulsed fiber lasers in surface texturing using MHz-repetition-rate, microjoule- and sub-microjoule-energy pulses. Texturing of titanium-based (Ti6Al4V) dental implant surfaces is achieved using femtosecond, picosecond and (for comparison) nanosecond pulses with the aim of controlling attachment of human cells onto the surface. Femtosecond and picosecond pulses yield similar results in the creation of micron-scale textures with greatly reduced or no thermal heat effects, whereas nanosecond pulses result in strong thermal effects. Various surface textures are created with excellent uniformity and repeatability on a desired portion of the surface. The effects of the surface texturing on the attachment and proliferation of cells are characterized under cell culture conditions. Our data indicate that picosecond-pulsed laser modification can be utilized effectively in low-cost laser surface engineering of medical implants, where different areas on the surface can be made cell-attachment friendly or hostile through the use of different patterns. © 2011 Optical Society of America.