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Biomaterials. 2007 Mar;28(9):1620-8. Epub 2006 Dec 29.

DLC coatings: effects of physical and chemical properties on biological response.

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  • 1Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Unit, Biomedical Engineering, School of AMME, Camperdown Campus 2006, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


Recent trials on diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated medical devices have indicated promise for blood interfacing applications. The literature is sparse regarding structural and compositional effects of DLC on cellular response. An important goal in optimizing blood-interfacing implants is minimal macrophage attachment, and maximal albumin:fibrinogen adsorption ratio. DLC coatings deposited by PACVD and FAD, were analysed with respect to sp3 content (EELS), hydrogen content (ERDA), surface composition (XPS), surface roughness (AFM), surface energy, albumin:fibrinogen adsorption ratio, and macrophage viability and attachment. We found that increasing surface roughness and surface energy enhanced the macrophage viability and the albumin:fibrinogen adsorption ratio. We also found that the higher the hydrogen content for a-C:Hs deposited by PACVD, the lower the albumin:fibrinogen adsorption ratio, and macrophage attachment. This suggests that hydrogen content may be an important factor for influencing the biological response of DLC surfaces. Macrophage cells spread well on all DLC surfaces, and the surface results indicated the non-toxic nature of the surfaces on the cells at the time points tested.

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