Load-Bearing Biomedical Applications of Diamond-Like Carbon Coatings - Current Status

Esa Alakoski*, a, Veli-Matti Tiainena, Antti Soininena, Yrjö T Konttinenb
a ORTON Research Institute, Tenholantie 10, FIN-00280, Helsinki, Finland
b Department of Medicine, Invärtes Medicin, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Biomedicum Helsinki, P.O. Box 700 (Haartmaninkatu 8), FIN-00029 HUS, Finland

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2008 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the ORTON Research Institute, Tenholantie 10, FIN-00280, Helsinki, Finland; Tel: +358-9-47482650; Fax: +358-9-2418408; E-mail:


The current status of diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings for biomedical applications is reviewed with emphasis on load-bearing coatings. Although diamond-like carbon coating materials have been studied for decades, no indisputably successful commercial biomedical applications for high load situations exist today. High internal stress, leading to insufficient adhesion of thick coatings, is the evident reason behind this delay of the break-through of DLC coatings for applications. Excellent adhesion of thick DLC coatings is of utmost importance for load-bearing applications. According to this review superior candidate material for articulating implants is thick and adherent DLC on both sliding surfaces. With the filtered pulsed arc discharge method, all the necessary requirements for the deposition of thick and adherent DLC are fulfilled, provided that the substrate material is selected properly.

Keywords: Diamond-like carbon, biomedical applications, load-bearing coatings.