tantalum strip is a dark blue-gray metal that is heavy, ductile and hard. It has high corrosion resistance and can only be dissolved with hydrofluoric acid. It also has the fourth-highest melting point of all metals, allowing it to form extremely thin and protective oxide layers for high-quality capacitors.
Totally inert to body liquids and tissues
The totally inert nature of tantalum makes it an excellent choice for use in devices or processes that must remain stable and immune to many types of acids, bases or bodily fluids. It is a vital element for advancing medical technology, contributing to implantable hearing aids, neurostimulators, pacemakers, defibrillators and insulin pumps, as well as surgical implants like hip/knee replacement parts and vessel clips.
Cellular Bioactivity & Osteogenesis
Due to its good bioactivity, tantalum has been attracting attention in the field of bone reconstruction and repair. It can stimulate the growth of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) and promote osteogenic differentiation, thus enhancing bone formation.
Biological Surface Modification of Tantalum
To enhance the biological performance of tantalum, scientists have developed various methods to modify its surface. These include surface-modified tantalum nanotubes (NMTs) and layered walls with different thicknesses. The NMTs can reduce the release of metal ions and improve the corrosion resistance of the material by as much as one order of magnitude, while the layered walls can promote the osteogenic response of hBMSCs by 1.5-2.1 times (Ding et al., 2018).
In addition, researchers have created porous tantalum scaffolds loaded with drugs to treat osteoarticular tuberculosis. The surface-loaded drugs are able to inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and promote osteoarticular regeneration, which provides a new therapeutic option for patients with this condition.