SEM images taken at a 10,000× magnification revealed an increase in grain size in the thermochemically treated samples (b) when compared to the non-treated samples (a), as a result of the heat treatment.

SEM images taken at a 10,000× magnification revealed an increase in grain size in the thermochemically treated samples (b) when compared to the non-treated samples (a), as a result of the heat treatment.

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Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is a promising biomaterial, currently used in spinal fusion implants. Such implants should result in high vertebral union rates without major complications. However, pseudarthrosis remains an important complication that could lead to a need for implant replacement. Making silicon nitride implants more bioactive could lead to...

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... the increased bioactivity of TCT samples in comparison to CT samples may be explained by the grain growth noticed in the TCT samples, due to the heat treatment (Figure 8). The elongation of the needle-like β-Si 3 N 4 grains created a rough surface that created a surface morphology favorable for the precipitation of calcium phosphates. ...