Ion beam modification of surfaces for biomedical applications
Human life expectancy increased significantly within the last century. Hence, medical care must ever be improved. Optimizing artificial replacements such as hip joints or stents etc. is of special interest. For this purpose, new materials are constantly developed or known ones modified. This work focused on the possibility to change the chemistry and topography of biomedically relevant materials such as diamond-like carbon (DLC) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) by means of ion beam irradiation. Mass-separated ion beam deposition was used in order to synthesize DLC layers with a high sp³ content (> 70%), a sufficiently smooth surface (RMS < 1 nm) and a manageable film thickness (50 nm). The chemistry of the DLC layers was changed by ion beam doping with different ion species (Ag, Ti) and concentrations. Additionally, the surface topography of silicon and titanium dioxide was altered by ion beam irradiation under non-perpendicular angle of incidence. The created periodic wave structures (so-called ripples) were characterized and their dependency on the ion energy was investigated. Moreover, ripples on silicon were covered with a thin DLC layer in order to create DLC ripples. The biocompatibility of all samples was investigated by adsorption experiments. For this purpose, human plasma fibrinogen (HPF) was used due to its ambiphilic character, which allows the protein to assume different conformations on materials with different hydrophilicities. Moreover, HPF is a crucial factor in the blood coagulation process. This work comes to the conclusion that the interaction of both, the surface chemistry and topography, has a strong influence on the adsorption behavior of HPF and thus the biocompatibility of a material. Both factors can be specifically tuned by means of ion beam irradiation.