A series of nanostructured low-crystalline hydroxyapatite (HA) coatings averaging 170, 250, and 440 nm in thickness were deposited onto previously etched titanium substrates through radio-frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering. The HA coatings were analyzed using infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). Cross sections of the thin specimens were prepared by FIB to study the microstructure of the coatings by TEM. The deposition process formed nano-scale grains, generating an amorphous layer at the substrate/coating interface and inducing the growth of a columnar grain structure perpendicular to the substrate surface. A microstructural analysis of the film confirmed that the grain size and crystallinity increased when increasing the deposition time. The nanostructured HA coatings were not cytotoxic, as proven by in vitro assays using primary dental pulp stem cells and mouse fibroblast NCTC clone L929 cells. Low-crystallinity HA coatings with different thicknesses stimulated cells to attach, proliferate and form mineralized nodules on the surface better than uncoated titanium substrates.
- Functionally graded material
- Radio-frequency magnetron sputtering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films