Submicrometer Hollow Bioglass Cones Deposited by Radio Frequency Magnetron Sputtering: Formation Mechanism, Properties, and Prospective Biomedical Applications


This work reports on the unprecedented magnetron sputtering deposition of submicrometric hollow cones of bioactive glass at low temperature in the absence of any template or catalyst. The influence of sputtering conditions on the formation and development of bioglass cones was studied. It was shown that larger populations of well-developed cones could be achieved by increasing the argon sputtering pressure. A mechanism describing the growth of bioglass hollow cones is presented, offering the links for process control and reproducibility of the cone features. The composition, structure, and morphology of the as-synthesized hollow cones were investigated by energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), grazing incidence geometry X-ray diffraction (GIXRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM)-selected area electron diffraction (SAED). The in vitro biological performance, assessed by degradation tests (ISO 10993-14) and cytocompatibility assays (ISO 10993-5) in endothelial cell cultures, was excellent. This allied with resorbability and the unique morphological features make the submicrometer hollow cones interesting candidate material devices for focal transitory permeabilization of the blood brain barrier in the treatment of carcinoma and neurodegenerative disorders.



subject category

Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science


Popa, AC; Stan, GE; Besleaga, C; Ion, L; Maraloiu, VA; Tulyaganov, DU; Ferreira, JMF

our authors


G.E.S. and A.C.P. are grateful for the financial support of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS-UEFISCDI, in the framework of projects PN-II-RU-TE-2011-4-0164 (contact no. 49/2011) and PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0180 (contract no. 73/2015). The support from CICECO is acknowledged. The authors also thank Dr. A.M. Vlaicu for part of the SEM analyses and useful discussions and Dr. A.C. Galca for the estimation of deposition rates by optical measurements. J.M.F.F. acknowledges the support of CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (ref. UID/CTM/50011/2013), funded by FEDER funds through the Operational Programme Competitiveness Factors (COMPETE 2020) and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

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