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Current Research Projects

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HEPULSE: High Performance Silver Doped Carbon Coatings for Biomedical Applications

Northumbria University is leading a European funded project on high-performance silver doped carbon coatings for biomedical applications (HEPULSE). Diamond-like carbon (DLC) films present exceptional mechanical properties that make them ideal as protective coatings. Due to their high hardness, low friction, and biocompatibility with living cells, silver-doped DLC coatings are highly valued in the biomedical field. Increased amounts of silver in the coating have shown to improve its biocompatibility, but excessive amounts could reduce its mechanical strength and durability and prove to be toxic to humans.

Caption: (A) Pristine DLC without Ag and (B) proposed Ag-DLC coatings with controlled Ag doping to improve mechanical performance.

In this project, we are aiming to develop a novel DLC coating with precise and localised doping of Ag nanoparticles using the sputtering method. The Ag nanoparticles will be created in-situ by rapid plasma quenching with He pulses and simultaneously embedded in the DLC matrix in a single-step process. The unique features are precise amounts and specific size of Ag nanoparticles which will be embedded at controlled depths in the DLC matrix as illustrated in the figure. The coatings will be tested for biological functioning, that is, biocompatibility and antimicrobial tests and mechanical performance, which includes hardness, toughness, and tribology. The new Ag-DLC coatings are expected to present a

simultaneous improvement in biological and mechanical performance due to their unique tailor-made architecture.

Project information

Coordinating Organisation: University of Northumbria at Newcastle, United Kingdom
Project Beneficiary: Prof Martin Birkett
Marie Curie Research Fellow: Dr Abdul Wasy Zia
People involved: Prof. Dr Mihalis I. Panagiotidis
Fund Programme: H2020-EU.1.3.2. - Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility
Funding Call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
Grant agreement ID: 885534
Funding Budget: € 224 933,76
Project Length: 15 FEB 2021 to 14 FEB 2023
See HePulse on CORDIS website

Contact us

If you are interested in the project and looking for more details, feel free to contact us:

Prof Martin Birkett
Dr Abdul Wasy Zia 

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