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"Plasma penetration into porous materials for biomedical, textile and filtration applications."

Final Report Summary - PLASMAPOR (Plasma penetration into porous materials for biomedical, textile and filtration applications.)

The project PLASMAPOR studied the penetration of plasma into porous structures for biomedical and filtration applications.

First of all, an atmospheric pressure plasma jet was developed to penetrate into flexible tubes used for medical purposes. Due to the treatment, the inner surface of the tubes becomes more hydrophilic resulting in a better fluid flow through the tubes. The gas flow behaviour of these plasma jets were modelled in order to explain the treatment behaviour.

A non-vacuum plasma technique was developed to remove in a fast and easy way adsorbed carbon contamination on titanium surfaces or implants. The obtained results were compared with other chemical and thermal treatments typically used. This comparison showed that plasma treatment at medium pressure was able to remove up to 20 % more of the adsorbed carbon compared to the classical cleaning methods, while at the same time being less aggressive, leaving the sub-surface chemistry unchanged.

Different plasma activation strategies were studied for the plasma treatment of porous scaffolds. Cell studies showed that a higher cell amount was detected on plasma-treated PCL scaffolds and proved that cells also grow better on plasma-treated scaffolds, suggesting the positive influence of plasma penetration on cell adhesion and proliferation.

Penetration of a plasma polymerized coating into biodegradable scaffolds was also studied. First an atmospheric pressure plasma technique was developed to deposit homogeneous coatings. Afterwards, techniques were developed to let the plasma coating penetrate into the scaffolds and the deposited acrylic acid plasma coated scaffolds exhibited a high potential for cartilage tissue engineering.

Finally, different textiles with added properties were developed:1) a plasma coated textile was developed for laccase immobilization as dye decolorization filter. 2) stimuli-sensitive PNIPAM grafted surfaces were studied which can be used for smart wound dressing applications.