Tantalum (Ta) is a promising metal for biomedical implants or implant coating for orthopedic and dental applications because of its excellent corrosion resistance, fracture toughness, and biocompatibility. This study synthesizes biocompatible tantalum carbide (TaC) and TaC/amorphous carbon (a-C) coatings with different carbon contents by using a twin-gun magnetron sputtering system to improve their biological properties and explore potential surgical implant or device applications. The carbon content in the deposited coatings was regulated by controlling the magnetron power ratio of the pure graphite and Ta cathodes. The deposited TaC and TaC/a-C coatings exhibited better cell viability of human osteosarcoma cell line MG-63 than the uncoated Ti and Ta-coated samples. Inverted optical and confocal imaging was used to demonstrate the cell adhesion, distribution, and proliferation of each sample at different time points during the whole culture period. The results show that the TaC/a-C coating, which contained two metastable phases (TaC and a-C), was more biocompatible with MG-63 cells compared to the pure Ta coating. This suggests that the TaC/a-C coatings exhibit a better biocompatible performance for MG-63 cells, and they may improve implant osseointegration in clinics. © 2014 Chang et al.
Chang, Y. Y., Huang, H. L., Chen, Y. C., Hsu, J. T., Shieh, T. M., & Tsai, M. T. (2014). Biological characteristics of the MG-63 human osteosarcoma cells on composite tantalum carbide/amorphous carbon films. PLoS ONE, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095590