Endothelial cell growth on silicon modified hydrogenated amorphous carbon thin films

AA Ogwu, TIT Okpalugo, N Ali, PD Maguire, JAD McLaughlin

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The biological response of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) seeded on Si-DLC films and on control surfaces was evaluated in terms of initial cell enhancement, growth, and cytotoxicity. The microstructure of the films was characterised by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The effect of changes in microstructure, surface energy, surface electronic state, and electronic conduction, on the biological response of the films to endothelial cells was investigated. Endothelial cell adhesion and growth was found to be affected by changes in the microstructure of thefilms induced by silicon doping and thermal annealing. We observed a significant statistical difference in endothelial cell count between the as-deposited DLC and Si-DLC films using the one sample t-test at a p-value of 0.05. We also found a statistically significant difference between the adhesion of HMEC films on DLC and Si-DLC films at various annealing temperatures using the one-way ANOVA F statistic test at p 0.05 and the post-hoc Turkey test. One sample t-test at p < 0.05 of MTT-assay results showed the endothelial cells to be viable when seeded on DLC/Si-DLC films. We suspect that the increased adhesion of endothelial cells induced by increasing the amount of silicon in theSi-DLC films is associated with the development of a suitable surface energy due to silicon addition, which neither favored cell denaturing nor preferential water spreading before cellular attachment on the film surface. The presence of an external positively charged dipole on the Si-DLC films confirmed by our Kelvin probe measurements is also expected to enhance the adhesion of enclotheliall cells that are well known to carry a negative charge. The Si-DLC films investigated hold potential promise as coatings for haemocompatible artificial implants.(c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Apr 2008


  • blood-material interaction
  • cell adhesion
  • carbon coatings
  • endothelial cells
  • hydrophobic
  • surface modification


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