Biocompatible Cubic Boron Nitride: A Noncytotoxic Ultrahard Material

Jason H.C. Yang, Kungen Teii, Chung Chueh Chang, Seiichiro Matsumoto, Miriam Rafailovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Cubic boron nitride (c-BN) has an ultrahardness and a large bandgap energy like diamond. In the last 30 years, most of the attention has been directed towards the mechanical and electronic applications of c-BN, while its biological potential has been overlooked. The authors report in vitro biocompatibility of high-quality c-BN films prepared by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition using the chemistry of fluorine. c-BN films become superhydrophilic when chemical-treated in hydrogen and nitrogen plasmas with or without the impact of low-energy ions due to a marked increase in polar part of the surface free energy by removal of the fluorine atoms terminating c-BN surfaces. Satisfactory proliferation and differentiation of osteoblastic cells comparable with a control sample and a superhydrophilic nanocrystalline diamond film, and the formation of mineral deposits by biomineralization are confirmed on the superhydrophilic c-BN films with negative values of zeta potential. The results demonstrate a high potential of c-BN as a noncytotoxic ultrahard coating material for biological and biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2005066
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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