Dual-purpose surface functionalization of Ti-6Al-7Nb involving oxygen plasma treatment and Si-DLC or chitosan-based coatings

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2021 Feb;121:111848. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2020.111848. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Abstract

The work presents a detailed study on the diamond-like structures doped with Si atoms and biopolymers-based coatings (chitosan, alginate) enriched with Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) deposited on the Ti-6Al-7Nb substrate. Multilayers were obtained by Plasma Enhanced Radio Frequency Chemical Vapour Deposition (PE RF CVD) technique and subsequent deposition of biopolymers by immersion method. The impact of Si atoms and Ag NPs on chemical structure, microstructure, topography, cytotoxicity as well as the hardness and Young modulus of the resulting layers was precisely investigated. The most advantageous conditions of plasma functionalization in RF reactor were the mixture of O2-Ar-NH3 in volume ratio of 10/1/9 in the first stage of functionalization (pre-activation). In the case of Si-DLC coatings (up to ca. 19 at.%) the lower silane flow (4 cm3/min) resulted in significant decrease of surface roughness (up to ca. Ra = 0.71 nm) of modified surfaces and increase of hardness reaching ca. 900 nm depth into surface (up to ca. 16 GPa). The most attractive among biopolymer-based coating on Ti-6Al-7Nb in terms of biological activity was chitosan with Ag NPs (diameter of ca. 25 nm) with additional alginate layer. AFM analysis revealed a uniform distribution of Ag NPs in the chitosan matrix. This contributed to advantageous physicochemical and biological properties assuring proper cell adhesion and proliferation. Noteworthy, the resulting surface functionalization of Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy did not cause significant cytotoxicity in vitro, giving a strong hope for perspective applications in implantology.

Keywords: Biocompatibility; Biopolymers; Plasma modification; Si-DLC coatings; Ti-6Al-7Nb alloy.

MeSH terms

  • Chitosan*
  • Materials Testing
  • Metal Nanoparticles*
  • Oxygen
  • Silver
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium

Substances

  • Silver
  • Chitosan
  • Titanium
  • Oxygen