PVD coatings such as titanium nitride (TiN), zirconium nitride (ZrN), and more recently diamond like carbon (DLC), can improve the corrosion and abrasion resistance of medical devices. The success of these coatings has been based on their ability to improve wear resistance and corrosion resistance. The materials properties, biocompatibility and performance of commercially available PVD coatings are discussed along with applications for orthopedic implants and dental devices. The next generation of coatings for biomaterials applications is in development. These coatings include tetrahedral amorphous carbon and DLC coatings. The differences between these processes and traditional PVD will be reviewed. In addition, preliminary performance and tribological data will be presented.
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