Plasma-initiated polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide and functionalized with dopamine for the adhesion to Hela cells

  • 54 Accesses


Temperature-responsive films of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) were facilely fabricated by one-step plasma-initiated polymerization and then functionalized by self-polymerization of dopamine on the surface. High retention of the monomer structure and temperature-responsive properties in PNIPAM films were confirmed. After plasma-initiated polymerization, PNIPAM films formed protrusions and ridges surfaces. Moreover, cross-linker of N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide with different dosage was introduced into the systems to effectively modulate the roughness of PNIPAM films and to supply better adhesive surface. Furthermore, in cell culture, satisfactory survival rate of the attached Hela cells was obtained on PNIPAM films, and the cell viability was improved further on PNIPAM/PDA films. The results indicated that such films might be applicable in medical treatment and tissue engineering, due to their adjusted adhesion ability and less toxicity to cells.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 199

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10


  1. 1.

    Thiry D, Konstantinidis S, Cornil J, Snyders R (2016) Plasma diagnostics for the low-pressure plasma polymerization process: a critical review. Thin Solid Films 606:19–44

  2. 2.

    Khelifa F, Ershov S, Habibi Y (2016) Free-radical-induced grafting from plasma polymer surfaces. Chem Rev 116:3975–4005

  3. 3.

    Huang C, Liu CH, Hsu WT, Chou TH (2010) Chamberless plasma polymerization of fluorocarbon thin films. J Non-Cryst Solid 356:1791–1794

  4. 4.

    Ma WC, Tsai CY, Huang C (2014) Investigation of atmospheric-pressure plasma deposited hexafluorobenzene fluorocarbon film. Surf Coat Technol 259:290–296

  5. 5.

    Wang YR, Ma WC, Lin JH, Lin HH, Tsai CY, Huang C (2014) Deposition of fluorocarbon film with 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane pulsed plasma polymerization. Thin Solid Films 570:445–450

  6. 6.

    Jiang H, Eyink K, Grant JT, Enlow J, Tullis S, Bunning TJ (2008) PECVD siloxane and fluorine-based copolymer thin films. Chem Vap Depos 14:286–291

  7. 7.

    Hossain MM, Hegemann D, Fortunato G, Herrmann AS, Heuberger M (2007) Plasma deposition of permanent superhydrophilic a-C: H: N films on textiles. Plasma Process Polym 4:471–481

  8. 8.

    Jacobs T, Morent R, De Geyter N (2012) Plasma surface modification of biomedical polymers: influence on cell–material interaction. Plasma Chem Plasma Process 32:1039–1073

  9. 9.

    Desmet T, Morent R, De Geyter N (2009) Nonthermal plasma technology as a versatile strategy for polymeric biomaterials surface modification: a review. Biomacromolecules 9:2351–2378

  10. 10.

    Carton O, Salem DB, Bhatt S (2012) Plasma polymerization of acrylic acid by atmospheric pressure nitrogen plasma jet for biomedical applications. Plasma Process Polym 9:984–993

  11. 11.

    Karaman M (2017) Hydrophobic coating of surfaces by plasma polymerization in an RF plasma reactor with an outer planar electrode: synthesis, characterization and biocompatibility. Plasma Sci Technol 19:85–95

  12. 12.

    Castner DG, Ratner BD (2002) Biomedical surface science: foundations to frontiers. Surf Sci 500:28–60

  13. 13.

    Dreyer DR, Miller DJ, Freeman BD (2013) Perspectives on poly(dopamine). Chem Sci 4:3796–3802

  14. 14.

    Schendzielorz P, Rak K, Radeloff K et al (2018) A polydopamine peptide coating enables adipose-derived stem cell growth on the silicone surface of cochlear implant electrode arrays. J Biomed Mater Res B 4:1431–1438

  15. 15.

    Yang K, Lee JS, Kim J et al (2012) Polydopamine-mediated surface modification of scaffold materials for human neural stem cell engineering. Biomaterials 33:6952–6964

  16. 16.

    Ciocoiua O-N, Staikosa G, Vasileb C (2018) Thermoresponsive behavior of sodium alginate grafted with poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) in aqueous media. Carbohydr Polym 184:118–126

  17. 17.

    Nagase K, Yamato M, Kanazawa H, Okano T (2018) Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-based thermoresponsive surfaces provide new types of biomedical applications. Biomaterials 153:27–48

  18. 18.

    Lucero AE, Reed JA, Xiaomei W et al (2010) Fabrication and characterization of thermoresponsive films deposited by an RF plasma reactor. Plasma Process Polym 7:992–1000

  19. 19.

    Chiu D-J, Li Y, Feng C-K et al (2017) Preparation and enhanced mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite hybrid hydrogels via novel photocatalytic polymerization. J Polym Res 24:227

  20. 20.

    Molina R, Ligero C, Jovanc P, Bertran E (2013) In situ polymerization of aqueous solutions of NIPAAm initiated by atmospheric plasma treatment. Plasma Process Polym 10:506–516

  21. 21.

    Vickie Pan Y, Wesley RA, Luginbuhl R, Denton DD, Ratner BD (2001) Plasma polymerized N-isopropylacrylamide: synthesis and characterization of a smart thermally responsive coating. Biomacromolecules 2:32–36

  22. 22.

    Unver A, Akovali GJ (2010) Plasma-induced, solid-state polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide. Appl Polym Sci 115:3311–3320

  23. 23.

    Wang H, Luo W, Chen J (2012) Fabrication and characterization of thermoresponsive Fe3O4@PNIPAM hybrid nanomaterials by surface-initiated RAFT polymerization. J Mater Sci 47:5918–5925

  24. 24.

    Liu Y, Chen P, Nie W, Zhou Y (2018) Fabrication of a temperature-responsive and recyclable MoS2 nanocatalyst through composting with poly (N-isopropylacrylamide). Appl Surf Sci 436:562–569

  25. 25.

    Wang B, Xiaolin W, Li J (2016) Thermosensitive behavior and antibacterial activity of cotton fabric modified with a chitosan-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) interpenetrating polymer network hydrogel. Polymers 8:110

  26. 26.

    Tamura A, Oishi M, Nagasaki Y (2010) Efficient siRNA delivery based on PEGylated and partially quaternized polyamine nanogels: enhanced gene silencing activity by the cooperative effect of tertiary and quaternary amino groups in the core. J Control Release 146:378–387

  27. 27.

    Haq MA, Su Y, Wang D (2017) Mechanical properties of PNIPAM based hydrogels: a review. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 70:842–855

  28. 28.

    Abbott RD, Kaplan DL (2015) Strategies for improving the physiological relevance of human engineered tissues. Trend Biotechnol 7:401–407

  29. 29.

    Alves NM, Pashkuleva I, Reis RL et al (2010) Controlling cell behavior through the design of polymer surfaces. Small 6:2208–2220

  30. 30.

    Hong S, Na YS, Choi S (2012) Non-covalent self-assembly and covalent polymerization co-contribute to polydopamine formation. Adv Funct Mater 22:4711–4717

  31. 31.

    Ma F-f, Zhang N, Wei X (2017) Blend-electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride)/polydopamine membranes: self-polymerization of dopamine and the excellent adsorption/separation abilities. J Mater Chem A 5:14430–14443

  32. 32.

    Weia J, Caia J, Lia Y et al (2015) Investigation of cell behaviors on thermo-responsive PNIPAM microgel films. Colloid Surf B 132:202–207

Download references


The authors are grateful for the Excellent Academic Leaders Foundation of Harbin, China (No. 2014RFXXJ017).

Author information

Correspondence to Dongyan Tang.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yang, X., Sun, Z., Gao, J. et al. Plasma-initiated polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide and functionalized with dopamine for the adhesion to Hela cells. Polym. Bull. 77, 963–974 (2020).

Download citation


  • Plasma polymerization
  • PDA
  • Adhesion
  • Hela cells