Influence of surface termination of ultrananocrystalline diamond films coated on titanium on response of human osteoblast cells: A proteome study

Merker, Daniel, et al. “Influence of Surface Termination of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Films Coated on Titanium on Response of Human Osteoblast Cells: A Proteome Study.” Materials Science and Engineering: C, Elsevier BV, Sept. 2021, p. 112289. Crossref, doi:10.1016/j.msec.2021.112289.


Successful osseointegration, i.e. the fully functional connection of patient’s bone and artificial implant depends on the response of the cells to the direct contact with the surface of the implant. The surface properties of the implant which trigger cell responses leading to its integration into the surrounding bone can be tailored by surface modifications or coating with thin layers. One potential material for such applications is ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD). It combines the exceptional mechanical properties of diamond with good biocompatibility and possibility of coating as thin uniform films on different substrates of biological interest. In the current work we firstly deposited UNCD films on titanium-coated substrates and applied oxygen or ammonia plasma to modify their surface properties. The as-grown and modified UNCD exhibited relatively smooth surfaces with topography dominated by rounded features. The modifications induced oxygen- or amino-terminated surfaces with increased hydrophilicity. In addition, the UNCD coatings exhibited very low coefficient of friction when diamond was used as a counterpart. As-grown and modified UNCD samples were applied to study the responses of human osteoblast MG63 cells triggered by surfaces with various terminations assessed by proteomic analysis. The results revealed that the coating of Ti with UNCD as well as the plasma modifications resulting in O- or NH2-terminated UNCD induced upregulation of proteins specific for cytoskeleton, cell membrane, and extracellular matrix (ECM) involved in the cell-ECM-surface interactions. Proteins from each of these groups, namely, vimentin, cadherin and fibronectin were further studied immunocytochemically and the results confirmed their increased abundance leading to improved cell-to-surface adhesion and cell-to-cell interactions. These findings demonstrate the potential of implant coating with UNCD and its surface modifications for better osseointegration and bone formation.