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Title: Surface Mechanoengineering of a Zr-based Bulk Metallic Glass via Ar-Nanobubble Doping to Probe Cell Sensitivity to Rigid Materials

In this paper, a new materials platform, utilizing the amorphous microstructure of bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) and the versatility of ion implantation, was developed for the fundamental investigation of cell responses to substrate-rigidity variations in the gigapascal modulus range, which was previously unattainable with polymeric materials. The surface rigidity of a Zr-Al- Ni-Cu-Y BMG was modulated with low-energy Ar-ion implantation owing to the impartment of Ar nanobubbles into the amorphous matrix. Surface softening was achieved due to the formation of nanobubble-doped transitional zones in the Zrbased BMG substrate. Bone-forming cell studies on this newly designed platform demonstrated that mechanical cues, accompanied with the potential effects of other surface properties (i.e. roughness, morphology, and chemistry), contributed to modulating cell behaviors. Cell adhesion and actin filaments were found to be less established on less stiff surfaces, especially on the surface with an elastic modulus of 51 GPa. Cell growth appeared to be affected by surface mechanical properties. A lower stiffness was generally related to a higher growth rate. Findings in this study broadened our fundamental understanding concerning the mechanosensing of bone cells on stiff substrates. It also suggests that surface mechano-engineering of metallic materials could be a potential strategy to promote osseointegrationmore » of such materials for bone-implant applications. Further investigations are proposed to fine tune the ion implantation variables in order to further distinguish the surface-mechanical effect on bone-forming cell activities from the contributions of other surface properties.« less
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  1. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FE0008855; FE0011194; NEUP00119262; and FE0024054
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces; Journal ID: ISSN 1944-8244
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE); USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; Bulk metallic glass; Ion implantation; Microstructure; Mechanical behavior; Cell rigidity sensing
OSTI Identifier: