Microstructural characteristics and cellular responses of a potential germanium bearing titanium binary alloy for dental applications

Takaaki Ueno, Chiung Fang Huang, Kayoko Yamamoto, Wen Chien Lan, Shih Chi Lee, Bai Hung Huang, Yung Chieh Cho, Christopher J. Walinski, Muhammad Ruslin, Chen Han Lee, Keng Liang Ou, Hiroyuki Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, the as-cast Ti–5Ge (wt%) (AS-TG) alloy was used to evaluate the effect of solution heat-treatment temperatures on the microstructure, phase transformation, and biocompatibility. The AS-TG specimen was subjected to different solution heat-treatment temperatures from 700 °C to 1000 °C for 30 min, and then characterized using a field-emission scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, transmission electron microscopy, Vickers microhardness, and contact angle goniometry. The in vitro biocompatibility levels of specimens were assessed through 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay with osteoblast-like (MG-63) and fibroblast (NIH-3T3) cell lines. Analytical results indicated that the grain size of the AS-TG specimen increased with an increasing treatment temperature. Needle-like structures were formed in the matrix when the temperature was above 900 °C. The examination of transmission electron microscopy confirmed that the AS-TG specimen was in the α phase, while α and α' phases co-existed in the specimens as temperature was above 900 °C, which also exhibited higher microhardness and lower contact angle. None of the investigated specimens showed a deleterious effect on MG-63 or NIH-3T3 cells, and were at the same level as commercial pure Ti, indicating good biocompatibility. Moreover, both MG-63 and NIH-3T3 cells presented excellent cell adhesion and proliferation abilities when temperature was 1000 °C. Thus, the AS-TG alloy heat-treated at 1000 °C possessed the greatest microhardness and wettability as well as highest cell viability, and could be considered as a potential biomaterial for dental applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111353
JournalMaterials Characterization
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Biocompatibility
  • Heat-treatment
  • Microhardness
  • Ti–5Ge alloy
  • Wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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