In vitro biocompatibility of Si alloyed multi-principal element carbide coatings

Alina Vladescu, Irina Titorencu, Yuri Dekhtyar, Victor Jinga, Vasile Pruna, Mihai Balaceanu, Mihaela Dinu, Iulian Pana, Viktorija Vendina, Mariana Braic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In the current study, we have examined the possibility to improve the biocompatibility of the (TiZrNbTaHf)C through replacement of either Ti or Ta by Si. The coatings were deposited on Si and 316L stainless steel substrates by magnetron sputtering in an Ar+CH4 mixed atmosphere and were examined for elemental composition, chemical bonds, surface topography, surface electrical charge and biocompatible characteristics. The net surface charge was evaluated at nano and macroscopic scale by measuring the electrical potential and work function, respectively. The biocompatible tests comprised determination of cell viability and cell attachment to the coated surface. The deposited coatings had C/(metal+Si) ratios close to unity, while a mixture of metallic carbide, free-carbon and oxidized species formed on the film surface. The coatings' surfaces were smooth and no influence of surface roughness on electrical charge or biocompatibility was found. The biocompatible characteristics correlated well with the electrical potential/work function, suggesting a significant role of surface charge in improving biocompatibility, particularly cell attachment to coating's surface. Replacement of either Ti or Ta by Si in the (TiZrNbTaHf)C coating led to an enhanced surface electrical charge, as well as to superior biocompatible properties, with best results for the (TiZrNbSiHf)C coating.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0161151
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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