Biodegradable magnesium (Mg) based implants have considerable interest in the biomedical field as their use nullifies the necessity for implant removal surgery and avoids the long-standing adverse reaction of permanent bioimplants. The degradation resistance and biocompatibility of the Mg alloys can be improved by coating them with a suitable thin film. Here, thin films of niobium and niobium oxide were developed on the AZ31B Mg alloy by sputtering technique and their biocompatibility and corrosion resistance was examined. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Transmission electron microscope (TEM) techniques confirmed the crystallinity of the thin films. Subsequently, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) techniques were employed to evaluate the morphology and chemical composition of the thin film surfaces, respectively. Thin-film coated Mg alloys revealed good corrosion resistance compared to their uncoated bare counterparts in simulated body fluid (SBF). The contact angle study was performed on the coated specimens to investigate their wettability which revealed their hydrophobic character. The cell viability studies on thin-film coated specimens exhibited significant cell proliferation, and cell morphological studies showed good cell attachment and growth. The in vitro MTT assay on mouse osteoblast precursor cells (MC3T3-E1) indicated that the Nb-based coatings are cytocompatible and promote cell proliferation.
- Niobium oxide