C. López-Santos, M. Fernández-Gutiérrez, F. Yubero, B. Vázquez-Lasa, J. Cotrino, A.R. González-Elipe, J. San Román
Journal of Biomaterials Applications, 27 (2013) 669-683
Surface properties play an important role in the functioning of a biomaterial in the biological environment. This work describes the influence of the changes that occurred on diamond-like carbon (DLC) and polymeric substrata by different nitrogen and ammonia plasmas treatments and its effects on the cell proliferation on these materials. All substrata were additionally subjected to the effect of neutral beams of nitrogen atoms and NH species for comparison purposes. Results about the proliferation, viability, and morphology of fibroblasts were correlated with surface chemical composition, surface tension, and topography. It was found that the presence of amine groups on the surface and the surface tension are beneficial factors for the cell growth. Surface roughness in DLC also plays a positive role in favoring cell adhesion and proliferation, but it can be detrimental for some of the treated polymers because of the accumulation of low molecular weight fragments formed as a result of the plasma treatments. Analysis of the overall results for each type of material allowed to define a unique parameter called ‘factor of merit’ accounting for the influence of the different surface characteristics on the cell deployment, which can be used to predict qualitatively the efficiency for cell growth.