The influence of target stoichiometry on early cell adhesionof co-sputtered calcium–phosphate surfaces

A Boyd, C O'Kane, P O'Hare, GA Burke, BJ Meenan

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The nature of the initial interaction between calcium phosphate (Ca–P) thin films and osteoblasts can be influenced by a number of different properties including thephase, crystallinity, stoichiometry and composition of the surface. There is still a strong interest in developing and studying Ca–P surfaces that have the ability to accuratelycontrol the osteoblast response. Radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering is a technique that allows for accurate control of the properties of deposited Ca–P coatings and hasbeen studied extensively because of this fact. In this work, Ca–P coatings were co-deposited using RF magnetron sputtering in order to study the effect of changing the targetstoichiometry on the initial in vitro behavior of MG63 osteoblast-like cells. The samples produced were analysed both as-deposited and after thermal annealing to 500 C.After annealing XPS analyses of the samples co-deposited using tricalcium phosphate (TCP) materials gave a Ca/P ratio of 1.71 ± 0.01, as compared to those co-deposited fromhydroxyapatite (HA) materials, with a Ca/P of 1.82 ± 0.06. In addition to this, the curve fitted XPS data indicated the presence of low levels of carbonate in the coatings. Despitethis the XRD results for all of the annealed coatings were shown to be characteristic of pure HA with a preferred 002 orientation. The atomic force microscopy results also highlightedthat both types of coatings had surface features of a similar size (200–220 nm). Both surfaces exhibited a degree of surface degradation, even after 1 h of cell culture. However,the TCP derived surfaces showed an enhanced osteoblastic cell response in terms of cell adhesion and cell proliferation in the earlier stages of cell culture than the surfaces deposited from HA. An improvement in the initial cell attachment and a potential for increased cell proliferation rates is viewed as a highly advantageous result in relationto controlling the osteoblast response on these surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2845-2861
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2013


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