Surface Modification of Selective Laser Melted Structures Using Self-Assembled Monolayers for Biomedical Applications




Vaithilingam, Jayasheelan
Goodridge, Ruth D.
Christie, Steven D.
Edmondson, Steve
Hague, Richard J.M.

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University of Texas at Austin


The potential of the selective laser melting (SLM) process to fabricate biomedical implants has been studied widely in recent years due to its ability to build complex and customised structures. Although SLM is capable of building almost any desired geometry, the surface properties of the produced parts are not controlled by the process and may not be suitable for many applications. Hence in this study, the coating of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) onto SLM fabricated Ti6Al4V structures to modify surface chemistry has been studied. 16-phosphanohexadecanoic acid monolayers were used to modify SLM as-fabricated (SLM-AF) and mechanically polished (SLM-MP) surfaces. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and static water contact angle measurements confirmed the formation of monolayers on these surfaces. The covalently bonded monolayers were found to be stable for up to six weeks immersion in Tris-HCl buffer solution. Stability of monolayers on SLM-AF and SLM-MP was not significantly different. This study demonstrates the possibility of forming stable phosphonic acid monolayers on SLM fabricated Ti6Al4V surfaces.


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