Titanium for Medical Applications

  • David F. Williams
Part of the Engineering Materials book series (ENG.MAT.)


In a review of the biocompatibility of clinical implant materials some twenty years ago [1] I referred to a statement given in the preface of the Proceedings of an International Conference on the Science, Technology and Applications of Titanium in 1968 which stated that:

Never has there been, as in the case of titanium, the concentration of scientific and technical devotion to a single metal, with so much money, over such diversified areas, both technical and geographical. Never has a metal invited and received such attention, not only from the technical viewpoint, but also from the political arena and the world of finance. Never has metal, normally considered so mundane, been so extravagantly described as the wonder metal, the glamour metal and the metal of promise.

After considering the properties and characteristics of titanium and its alloys with respect to biocompatibility and applications in implanted devices, I then concluded that this excitement about this metal in general engineering was reflected in the specific situation in the medical field, with the following comment:

The extensive list of clinical uses of titanium and the titanium-aluminium-vanadium alloy is a clear indication of the suitability of these materials for implant applications. There is no doubt, of course, that both stainless steel and cobalt-chromium alloys are widely used and generally accepted as good biomaterials. However, the fact that titanium is being used preferentially in many of the more recent applications in maxillofacial and oral surgery, neurosurgery and cardiovascular surgery, indicates a slight superiority.


Tissue Engineering Dental Implant Corrosion Fatigue Crevice Corrosion Biological Safety 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • David F. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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