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One-step method to enhance biotribological properties and biocompatibility of DLC coating by ion beam irradiation

Abstract

A one-step method was developed to create a highly biocompatible micropatterned surface on a diamond-like carbon (DLC) through irradiation with a nitrogen ion beam and thus enhance the biocompatibility of osseointegrated surfaces and biotribological performance of articular surfaces. The biocompatibility and biotribological mechanisms were analyzed in terms of the structure and morphology of DLC. It was demonstrated that a layer enriched in sp3 C−N bonds was formed on the surface of the DLC after nitrogen ion beam irradiation. Moreover, with an increase in the radiation dose, the content of sp3 C−N on the DLC surface increased significantly, and the biocompatibility was positively correlated with it. The adhesion of the MC3T3 osteoblasts increased significantly from 32% to 86% under an irradiation dose of 8 × 1015 ions/cm2. In contrast, the micropattern had a significant negative effect on the adhesion of the osteoblasts as it physically hindered cell expansion and extension. The micropattern with a depth of 37 nm exhibited good friction properties, and the coefficient of friction was reduced by 21% at relatively high speeds.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2020R1A2C2004714) and funding from the State Key Laboratory of Solidification Processing in NWPU (No. SKLSP202002).

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Correspondence to Shusheng Xu or Dae-Eun Kim.

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Yuzhen LIU. He is a Ph.D. student in Triblology Research Lab at Department of Mechanical Engineering of Yonsei University. Currently, he is focusing on in-situ micro-Raman spectroscopy analysis and microstructural impact on tribological behaviors. He previously pursued his master’s degree in Chonbuk National University.

Kelun ZHANG. She received a master degree from Yonsei University in 2018. Then she turned to the Department of Medical Sciences to pursue a Ph.D. degree. Her research is designed into the field of biomedicine through in vitro and in vivo experiments, as well as the research on the function of human immune cells and the mechanism of immune response, especially in skin immunity.

Jae-Ho HAN. He received his B.S. degree in Department of Aeronautical and Mechanical Design Engineering from Korea National University of Transportatio in 2016. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at Yonsei University. His research interests include acoustic emission generated by frictional behavior and tribological characteristics of micro-patterns.

Youn-Hoo HWANG. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Department of Precision Mechanical Engineering from Kyungpook National University in 2019. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate at Yonsei University. His research interests include tribological characteristics of coating in various environments and wear reduction mechanisms.

Shusheng XU. He is currently a professor in State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication (LSL), Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Before joining LSL, he worked as a research fellow in the University of Leeds from February 2018 to January 2020, and a postdoctoral research associate in Yonsei University from August 2016 to January 2018. The main research interest of his group is design and preparation of functional coating for surface engineering. His research interests include the vapor deposition of film materials for addressing the growth mechanism and film structure design, especially the transition metal dichalcogenides, ceramic, and DLC film materials, and their applications in extreme space environments. Currently, he have published more than 30 papers and gotten 5 patents for invention.

Dae-Eun KIM. He is a professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering at Yonsei University. Prof. Kim received his B.S. degree from Tufts University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an assistant professor at Ohio State University before joining Yonsei University in 1993. Prof. Kim served as the president of the Korean Tribology Society, president of the Korean Society for Precision Engineering, chair of the Tribology Technical Committee of International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science (IFToMM), editor-in-chief of International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing (IJPEM), senior editor of Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology (JMST), and associate editor of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Journal (ASME J) of Tribology. Prof. Kim is currently involved in the editorial boards of Tribology Letters, Advances in Tribology, Friction, Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing-Green Technology (IJPEM-GT), Lubricants, and Tribology Online.

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Liu, Y., Zhang, K., Han, JH. et al. One-step method to enhance biotribological properties and biocompatibility of DLC coating by ion beam irradiation. Friction 10, 1114–1126 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40544-021-0554-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40544-021-0554-9

Keywords

  • ion beam irradiation
  • biocompatibility
  • diamond-like carbon (DLC)
  • in-vivo
  • micropattern
  • biotribological performance