Effect of the mechanical properties of carbon-based coatings on the mechanics of cell–material interactions

Publication from Materials
Laser- und Plasma-Technologien

K. Trembecka Wójciga, M. Kopernik, M. Surmiak, R. Major, M. Gawlikowski, F. Bruckert, M. Kot, J.M. Lackner

Colloids and Surfaces B Biointerfaces Volume 197, January 2021, 111359, 1/2021


The paper presents an influence of the surface mechanical properties of thin-film materials on blood cell adhesion under shear stress conditions. Physical vapour deposited (PVD) coatings i.e. hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) doped with nitrogen or silicon have been investigated. The mechanical properties of materials, namely their microhardness and Young’s modulus were measured using indentation test with Rockwell indenter. The adhesion efficiency of blood cells in dynamic conditions were analysed using a radial flow chamber. Red blood cells (RBC) were used as representative cells to analyse cell–material interactions. The biomaterial examinations were performed under physiological flow conditions at the single-cell level. The 3D FVM (finite volume method) model of multi-phase radial flow test was developed to reproduce the physical test and to predict distributions of shear stresses and velocity during blood washout with PBS. Cell–material interactions were found to be strongly associated with the mechanical properties of the thin-film material. The decrease in the hardness of the coatings translated into a weaker cell – material interactions.