The biocompatibility of an implant material is determined by its surface characteristics. This study investigated the application of an electrochemical anodization surface treatment to improve both the corrosion resistance and biocompatibility of Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy for implant applications. The electrochemical anodization treatment produced an Al-free oxide layer with nanoscale porosity on the Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy surface. The surface topography and microstructure of Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy were analyzed. The corrosion resistance was investigated using potentiodynamic polarization curve measurements in simulated blood plasma (SBP). The adhesion and proliferation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells to test specimens were evaluated using various biological analysis techniques. The results showed that the presence of a nanoporous oxide layer on the anodized Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy increased the corrosion resistance (i.e., increased the corrosion potential and decreased both the corrosion rate and the passive current) in SBP compared with the untreated Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy. Changes in the nanotopography also improved the cell adhesion and proliferation on the anodized Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy. We conclude that a fast and simple electrochemical anodization surface treatment improves the corrosion resistance and biocompatibility of Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy for biomedical implant applications.
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