Biocompatible Ti6Al7Nb alloy foams with 70% porosity manufactured by space holder method were activated via alkali treatment using 5 M NaOH solution at 60 degrees C. The interconnected pore structures enabled formation of homogenous sodium rich coating on the foam surfaces by allowing penetration of alkali solution throughout the pores which had average size of 200 mu m. The resulted coating layer having 500 nm thickness exhibited porous network morphology with 100 nm pore size. On the other hand, heat treatment conducted subsequent to alkali treatment at 600 degrees C in air transformed sodium rich coating into crystalline bioactive sodium titanate phases. Although the coatings obtained by additional heat treatment were mechanically stable and preserved their morphology, oxidation of the samples deteriorated the compressive strength significantly without affecting the elastic modulus. However, heat treated samples revealed better hydroxyapatite formation when soaked in simulated body fluid (SBF) compared to alkali treated foams. On the other hand, untreated surfaces containing bioactive TiO2 layer were observed to comprise of Ca and P rich precipitates only rather than hydroxyapatite within 15 days. The apatite formed on the treated porous surfaces was observed to have flower-like structure with Ca/P ratio around 1.5 close to that of natural bone. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.