Applied Surface Science, Vol.441, 871-883, 2018
New bio-active, antimicrobial and adherent coatings of nanostructured carbon double-reinforced with silver and silicon by Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation for medical applications
We report on Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (MAPLE) deposition of Carbon thin films, simple or reinforced with intended concentrations of Ag and Si. A KrF* (lambda = 248 nm, tau(FWHM) < 25 ns, v = 10 Hz) excimer laser was used for irradiation. The effect of a post-deposition thermal treatment in vacuum was studied. Besides detailed morphological, compositional, structural and pull-out adherence characterizations, the potential of the carbonaceous films for medical applications was investigated in vitro by anti-biofilm and cytocompatibility assays. The microscopic images evidenced no delaminations. Micro-Raman spectroscopy revealed a graphitization tendency depending on preparation conditions, thermal treatment and reinforcing agents' presence. Adherence values improved considerably after thermal treatment. In vitro biological evaluation showed that the films containing similar to 1.85 at.% Ag were non-cytotoxic for MG63 cells, while eliciting a limited antimicrobial activity. The increase of Ag content to 3.6 at.% results in a significant enhancement of antimicrobial activity, whilst maintaining the cytotoxic action and adherence characteristics at acceptable levels. We propose a new class of metamaterials based on C reinforced with Ag and Si obtained by MAPLE for medical applications, i.e. the prevention and treatment of various infections associated with biofilms developed on implants and other medical equipments. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.