Modifications of Ti-6Al-4V surfaces by direct-write laser machining of linear grooves

Joseph P. Ulerich, Lara C. Ionescu, Jianbo Chen, Winston O. Soboyejo, Craig B. Arnold

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

38 Scopus citations


As patients who receive orthopedic implants live longer and opt for surgery at a younger age, the need to extend the in vivo lifetimes of these implants has grown. One approach is to pattern implant surfaces with linear grooves, which elicit a cellular response known as contact guidance. Lasers provide a unique method of generating these surface patterns because they are capable of modifying physical and chemical properties over multiple length scales. In this paper we explore the relationship between surface morphology and laser parameters such as fluence, pulse overlap (translation distance), number of passes, and machining environment. We find that using simple procedures involving multiple passes it is possible to manipulate groove properties such as depth, shape, sub-micron roughness, and chemical composition of the Ti-6Al-4V oxide layer. Finally, we demonstrate this procedure by machining several sets of grooves with the same primary groove parameters but varied secondary characteristics. The significance of the secondary groove characteristics is demonstrated by preliminary cell studies indicating that the grooves exhibit basic features of contact guidance and that the cell proliferation in these grooves are significantly altered despite their similar primary characteristics. With further study it will be possible to use specific laser parameters during groove formation to create optimal physical and chemical properties for improved osseointegration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhoton Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics VI
StatePublished - 2007
EventPhoton Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics VI - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 22 2007Jan 25 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherPhoton Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics VI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Cell growth
  • Laser micromachining
  • Laser surface texturing
  • Titanium


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