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Biocompatibility evaluation of sputtered zirconium-based thin film metallic glass-coated steels

Authors Subramanian B, Maruthamuthu S, Thanka Rajan S

Received 5 January 2015

Accepted for publication 5 March 2015

Published 1 October 2015 Volume 2015:10(Supplement 1 Challenges in biomaterials research) Pages 17—29

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S79977

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Balasubramanian Subramanian,1 Sundaram Maruthamuthu,2 Senthilperumal Thanka Rajan1

1Electrochemical Material Science Division, 2Corrosion and Materials Protection Division, Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi, India

Abstract: Thin film metallic glasses comprised of Zr48Cu36Al8Ag8 (at.%) of approximately 1.5 µm and 3 µm in thickness were prepared using magnetron sputtering onto medical grade 316L stainless steel. Their structural and mechanical properties, in vitro corrosion, and antimicrobial activity were analyzed. The amorphous thin film metallic glasses consisted of a single glassy phase, with an absence of any detectable peaks corresponding to crystalline phases. Elemental composition close to the target alloy was noted from EDAX analysis of the thin film. The surface morphology of the film showed a smooth surface on scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. In vitro electrochemical corrosion studies indicated that the zirconium-based metallic glass could withstand body fluid, showing superior resistance to corrosion and electrochemical stability. Interactions between the coated surface and bacteria were investigated by agar diffusion, solution suspension, and wet interfacial contact methods. The results indicated a clear zone of inhibition against the growth of microorganisms such as Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, confirming the antimicrobial activity of the thin film metallic glasses. Cytotoxicity studies using L929 fibroblast cells showed these coatings to be noncytotoxic in nature.

Keywords:
thin film metallic glasses, sputtering, biocompatibility, corrosion, antimicrobial activity

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