Analyses of Antibacterial Activity and Cell Compatibility of Titanium Coated with a Zr–C–N Film

Chang, Yin-Yu; Huang, Heng-Li; Lai, Chih-Ho; Hsu, Jui-Ting; Shieh, Tzong-Ming; Wu, Aaron Yu-Jen; Chen, Chao-Ling
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Objective: The purpose of this study was to verify the antibacterial performance and cell proliferation activity of zirconium (Zr)–carbon (C)–nitride (N) coatings on commercially pure titanium (Ti) with different C contents. Materials and Methods: Reactive nitrogen gas (N2) with and without acetylene (C2H2) was activated by Zr plasma in a cathodic-arc evaporation system to deposit either a zirconium nitride (ZrN) or a Zr–C–N coating onto Ti plates. The bacterial activity of the coatings was evaluated against Staphylococcus aureus with the aid of SYTO9 nucleic acid staining and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cell compatibility, mRNA expression, and morphology related to human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) on the coated samples were also determined by using the MTT assay, reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction, and SEM. Results: The Zr–C–N coating with the highest C content (21.7 at%) exhibited the lowest bacterial preservation (P<0.001). Biological responses including proliferation, gene expression, and attachment of HGF cells to ZrN and Zr–C–N coatings were comparable to those of the uncoated Ti plate. Conclusions: High-C-content Zr–C–N coatings not only provide short-term antibacterial activity against S. aureus but are also biocompatible with HGF cells.


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