Cell proliferation on modified DLC thin films prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition.

PMID 25967153


Recently, diamondlike carbon (DLC) thin films have gained interest for biological applications, such as hip and dental prostheses or heart valves and coronary stents, thanks to their high strength and stability. However, the biocompatibility of the DLC is still questionable due to its low wettability and possible mechanical failure (delamination). In this work, DLC:N:O and DLC: SiOx thin films were comparatively investigated with respect to cell proliferation. Thin DLC films with an addition of N, O, and Si were prepared by plasma enhanced CVD from mixtures of methane, hydrogen, and hexamethyldisiloxane. The films were optically characterized by infrared spectroscopy and ellipsometry in UV-visible spectrum. The thickness and the optical properties were obtained from the ellipsometric measurements. Atomic composition of the films was determined by Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy combined with elastic recoil detection analysis and by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The mechanical properties of the films were studied by depth sensing indentation technique. The number of cells that proliferate on the surface of the prepared DLC films and on control culture dishes were compared and correlated with the properties of as-deposited and aged films. The authors found that the level of cell proliferation on the coated dishes was high, comparable to the untreated (control) samples. The prepared DLC films were stable and no decrease of the biocompatibility was observed for the samples aged at ambient conditions.