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Comparison of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Adhesion and Spreading on Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC), Carbon Nitride, and Nanocrystalline Diamond

W.C. Clem, S. Chowdhury, V. Thomas, V.V. Konovalov, S.A. Catledge, M.T. Laugier, S.L. Bellis and Y.K. Vohra
University of Alabama at Birmingham, US

nanocrystalline diamond, diamond-like carbon, carbon nitride, mesenchymal stem cells, DLC

We compare hMSC adhesion and spreading on three ultra-hard coatings: Diamond-Like Carbon, Carbon Nitride, and Nanocrystalline Diamond. Structural and mechanical properties were investigated by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, nanoindentation technique and atomic force microscope. hMSCs were isolated from bone marrow donations and cultured in vitro on these surfaces for 1 hour, 1 day, and 7 days. Adhesion and spreading of MSCs were significantly greater on DLC and CN surfaces compared to the nanostructured diamond surface. Cells were only loosely attached to nanodiamond at 1 hour. Moreover, cells failed to adopt a spread morphology on nanostructured diamond, an event that is necessary for the survival of most adherent cell types, and is also important for the osteoblastic differentiation of MSCs. Consistent with the poor cell attachment observed at 1 hour following cell seeding, no cells remained attached to nanodiamond following 24 hour incubation. Attenuated hMSC attachment to nanocrystalline diamond did not appear to be due to toxicity of the material, since the cells readily adhered and spread on nanodiamond when the surfaces were pre-coated with the pro-adhesive protein, collagen I. We also show that cellular adhesion to nanostructured diamond can be further reduced by a five minute treatment with oxygen plasma.

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