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Biomaterials. 2009 Jul;30(20):3458-65. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.03.014. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

The impact of diamond nanocrystallinity on osteoblast functions.

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  • 1Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Nanocrystalline diamond has been proposed as an anti-abrasive film on orthopedic implants. In this study, osteoblast (bone forming cells) functions including adhesion (up to 4h), proliferation (up to 5 days) and differentiation (up to 21 days) on different diamond film topographies were systematically investigated. In order to exclude interferences from changes in surface chemistry and wettability (energy), diamond films with nanometer and micron scale topographies were fabricated through microwave plasma enhanced chemical-vapor-deposition and hydrogen plasma treatment. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Raman spectroscopy and water contact angle measurements verified the similar surface chemistry and wettability but varied topographies for all of the diamond films prepared on silicon in this study. Cytocompatibility assays demonstrated enhanced osteoblast functions (including adhesion, proliferation, intracellular protein synthesis, alkaline phosphatase activity and extracellular calcium deposition) on nanocrystalline diamond compared to submicron diamond grain size films for all time periods tested up to 21 days. An SEM study of osteoblast attachment helped to explain the topographical impact diamond had on osteoblast functions by showing altered filopodia extensions on the different diamond topographies. In summary, these results provided insights into understanding the role diamond nanotopography had on osteoblast interactions and more importantly, the application of diamond films to improve orthopedic implant lifetimes.

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