Plasma Techniques for Production of Permanent Hydrophilic Polymer Surfaces for Biomedical Applications
Plasma surface treatments and plasma polymer coatings employing a variety of gases and monomers were used to produce surfaces of increased hydrophilicity on poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) and fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP). The surface treatments carried out by exposure to plasmas of the non-depositing gases air, oxygen, argon, and water conferred greatly improved wettability by distilled water to the surface of these fluorocarbon polymers. Short plasma treatment times, of the order of 10 to 20 sec., were shown to be sufficient; longer treatment times were found to produce no additional benefit. The water contact angles did not change over periods of 12 to 13 months of storage of the sample at ambient temperature. Deposition of plasma polymer films onto the fluorocarbon polymers also produced surfaces that were wettable by water, to a degree that depended on the monomer and the plasma conditions. Experiments with growth of bovine endothelial cells showed improved performance of the various plasma treated samples over PTFE controls. Surface spectroscopic analysis has allowed a partial identification of the chemical groups that confer this improved wettability and bioresponse.
KeywordsContact Angle Plasma Treatment Water Contact Angle Plasma Treated Sample Bovine Endothelial Cell
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