Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Plasma Treatment Related Abstracts

7 The Effect of Micro/Nano Structure of Poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) Film Using a Two-Step Process (Casting/Plasma) on Cellular Responses

Authors: Jaeyoon Lee, MyungGu Yeo, JongHan Ha, Gi-Hoon Yang, SeungHyun Ahn, Hyeongjin Lee, HoJun Jeon, YongBok Kim, Minseong Kim, GeunHyung Kim


One of the important factors in tissue engineering is to design optimal biomedical scaffolds, which can be governed by topographical surface characteristics, such as size, shape, and direction. Of these properties, we focused on the effects of nano- to micro-sized hierarchical surface. To fabricate the hierarchical surface structure on poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) film, we employed a micro-casting technique by pressing the mold and nano-etching technique using a modified plasma process. The micro-sized topography of PCL film was controlled by sizes of the micro structures on lotus leaf. Also, the nano-sized topography and hydrophilicity of PCL film were controlled by a modified plasma process. After the plasma treatment, the hydrophobic property of the PCL film was significantly changed into hydrophilic property, and the nano-sized structure was well developed. The surface properties of the modified PCL film were investigated in terms of initial cell morphology, attachment, and proliferation using osteoblast-like-cells (MG63). In particular, initial cell attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation in the hierarchical structure were enhanced dramatically compared to those of the smooth surface. We believe that these results are because of a synergistic effect between the hierarchical structure and the reactive functional groups due to the plasma process. Based on the results presented here, we propose a new biomimetic surface model that maybe useful for effectively regenerating hard tissues.

Keywords: Plasma Treatment, hierarchical surface, lotus leaf, nano-etching

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6 Plasma Treatment in Conjunction with EGM-2 Medium Can Enhance Endothelial and Osteogenic Marker Expressions of Bone Marrow MSCs

Authors: Chih-Hsin Lin, Shyh-Yuan Lee, Yuan-Min Lin


For many tissue engineering applications, an important goal is to create functional tissues in-vitro, and such tissues to be viable, they have to be vascularized. Endothelial cells (EC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) are promising candidates for vascularization. However, both of them have limited expansion capacity and autologous cells currently do not exist for either ECs or EPCs. Therefore, we use bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as a source material for ECs. Growth supplements are commonly used to induce MSC differentiation, and further improvements in differentiation conditions can be made by modifying the cell's growth environment. An example is pre-treatment of the growth dish with gas plasma, in order to modify the surface functional groups of the material that the cells are seeded on. In this work, we compare the effects of different gas plasmas on the growth and differentiation of MSCs. We treat the dish with different plasmas (CO2, N2, and O2) and then induce MSC differentiation with endothelial growth medium-2 (EGM-2). We find that EGM-2 by itself upregulates EC marker CD31 mRNA expression, but not VEGFR2, CD34, or vWF. However, these additional EC marker expressions were increased for cells seeded on plasma treated substrates. Specifically, for EC markers, we found that N2 plasma treatment upregulated CD31 and VEGFR-2 mRNA expressions; CO2 plasma treatment upregulated CD34 and vWF mRNA expressions. The osteogenic markers ALP and osteopontin mRNA expressions were markedly enhanced on all plasma-treated dishes. We also found that plasma treatment in conjunction with EGM-2 growth medium can enhance MSCs differentiation into endothelial-like cells and osteogenic-like cells. Our work shows that the effect of the growth medium (EGM-2) on MSCs differentiation is influenced by the plasma modified surface chemistry of the substrate. In conclusion, plasma surface modification can enhance EGM-2 effectiveness and induced both endothelial and osteogenic differentiation. Our findings provide a method to enhance EGM-2 based cell differentiation, with consequences for tissue engineering and stem cell biology applications.

Keywords: Surface modification, Plasma Treatment, osteogenesis, endothelial differentiation, EGM-2

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5 Plasma Treatment of a Lignite Using Water-Stabilized Plasma Torch at Atmospheric Pressure

Authors: Anton Serov, Alan Maslani, Michal Hlina, Vladimir Kopecky, Milan Hrabovsky


Recycling of organic waste is an increasingly hot topic in recent years. This issue becomes even more interesting if the raw material for the fuel production can be obtained as the result of that recycling. A process of high-temperature decomposition of a lignite (a non-hydrolysable complex organic compound) was studied on the plasma gasification reactor PLASGAS, where water-stabilized plasma torch was used as a source of high enthalpy plasma. The plasma torch power was 120 kW and allowed heating of the reactor to more than 1000 °C. The material feeding rate in the gasification reactor was selected 30 and 60 kg per hour that could be compared with small industrial production. An efficiency estimation of the thermal decomposition process was done. A balance of the torch energy distribution was studied as well as an influence of the lignite particle size and an addition of methane (CH4) in a reaction volume on the syngas composition (H2+CO). It was found that the ratio H2:CO had values in the range of 1,5 to 2,5 depending on the experimental conditions. The recycling process occurred at atmospheric pressure that was one of the important benefits because of the lack of expensive vacuum pump systems. The work was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic under the project GA15-19444S.

Keywords: Atmospheric Pressure, Plasma Treatment, lignite, water-stabilized plasma torch

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4 Stent Surface Functionalisation via Plasma Treatment to Promote Fast Endothelialisation

Authors: Xiang Zhang, Irene Carmagnola, Valeria Chiono, Sandra Pacharra, Jochen Salber, Sean McMahon, Chris Lovell, Pooja Basnett, Barbara Lukasiewicz, Ipsita Roy, Gianluca Ciardelli


Thrombosis and restenosis after stenting procedure can be prevented by promoting fast stent wall endothelialisation. It is well known that surface functionalisation with antifouling molecules combining with extracellular matrix proteins is a promising strategy to design biomimetic surfaces able to promote fast endothelialization. In particular, REDV has gained much attention for the ability to enhance rapid endothelialization due to its specific affinity with endothelial cells (ECs). In this work, a two-step plasma treatment was performed to polymerize a thin layer of acrylic acid, used to subsequently graft PEGylated-REDV and polyethylene glycol (PEG) at different molar ratio with the aim to selectively promote endothelial cell adhesion avoiding platelet activation. PEGylate-REDV was provided by Biomatik and it is formed by 6 PEG monomer repetitions (Chempep Inc.), with an NH2 terminal group. PEG polymers were purchased from Chempep Inc. with two different chain lengths: m-PEG6-NH2 (295.4 Da) with 6 monomer repetitions and m-PEG12-NH2 (559.7 Da) with 12 monomer repetitions. Plasma activation was obtained by operating at 50W power, 5 min of treatment and at an Ar flow rate of 20 sccm. Pure acrylic acid (99%, AAc) vapors were diluted in Ar (flow = 20 sccm) and polymerized by a pulsed plasma discharge applying a discharge RF power of 200 W, a duty cycle of 10% (on time = 10 ms, off time = 90 ms) for 10 min. After plasma treatment, samples were dipped into an 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3- ethylcarbodiimide (EDC)/N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) solution (ratio 4:1, pH 5.5) for 1 h at 4°C and subsequently dipped in PEGylate-REDV and PEGylate-REDV:PEG solutions at different molar ratio (100 μg/mL in PBS) for 20 h at room temperature. Surface modification was characterized through physico-chemical analyses and in vitro cell tests. PEGylated-REDV peptide and PEG were successfully bound to the carboxylic groups that are formed on the polymer surface after plasma reaction. FTIR-ATR spectroscopy, X -ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle measurement gave a clear indication of the presence of the grafted molecules. The use of PEG as a spacer allowed for an increase in wettability of the surface, and the effect was more evident by increasing the amount of PEG. Endothelial cells adhered and spread well on the surfaces functionalized with the REDV sequence. In conclusion, a selective coating able to promote a new endothelial cell layer on polymeric stent surface was developed. In particular, a thin AAc film was polymerised on the polymeric surface in order to expose –COOH groups, and PEGylate-REDV and PEG were successful grafted on the polymeric substrates. The REDV peptide demonstrated to encourage cell adhesion with a consequent, expected improvement of the hemocompatibility of these polymeric surfaces in vivo. Acknowledgements— This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement number 604251- ReBioStent (Reinforced Bioresorbable Biomaterials for Therapeutic Drug Eluting Stents). The authors thank all the ReBioStent partners for their support in this work.

Keywords: Surface Functionalisation, Plasma Treatment, stent, endothelialisation

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3 Effect of the Polymer Modification on the Cytocompatibility of Human and Rat Cells

Authors: P. Slepicka, N. Slepickova Kasalkova, V. Svorcik, L. Bacakova


Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the "new cell structures". For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable,  semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120 s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150 s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent "reorientation" towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.

Keywords: Plasma Treatment, surface characterization, poly(L-lactic acid), cytocompatibility, human osteoblast, rat vascular smooth muscle cells, human stem cells

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2 Effects of Plasma Technology in Biodegradable Films for Food Packaging

Authors: Viviane P. Romani, Bradley D. Olsen, Vilásia G. Martins


Biodegradable films for food packaging have gained growing attention due to environmental pollution caused by synthetic films and the interest in the better use of resources from nature. Important research advances were made in the development of materials from proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids. However, the commercial use of these new generation of sustainable materials for food packaging is still limited due to their low mechanical and barrier properties that could compromise the food quality and safety. Thus, strategies to improve the performance of these materials have been tested, such as chemical modifications, incorporation of reinforcing structures and others. Cold plasma is a versatile, fast and environmentally friendly technology. It consists of a partially ionized gas containing free electrons, ions, and radicals and neutral particles able to react with polymers and start different reactions, leading to the polymer degradation, functionalization, etching and/or cross-linking. In the present study, biodegradable films from fish protein prepared through the casting technique were plasma treated using an AC glow discharge equipment. The reactor was preliminary evacuated to ~7 Pa and the films were exposed to air plasma for 2, 5 and 8 min. The films were evaluated by their mechanical and water vapor permeability (WVP) properties and changes in the protein structure were observed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Potential cross-links and elimination of surface defects by etching might be the reason for the increase in tensile strength and decrease in the elongation at break observed. Among the times of plasma application tested, no differences were observed when higher times of exposure were used. The X-ray pattern showed a broad peak at 2θ = 19.51º that corresponds to the distance of 4.6Å by applying the Bragg’s law. This distance corresponds to the average backbone distance within the α-helix. Thus, the changes observed in the films might indicate that the helical configuration of fish protein was disturbed by plasma treatment. SEM images showed surface damage in the films with 5 and 8 min of plasma treatment, indicating that 2 min was the most adequate time of treatment. It was verified that plasma removes water from the films once weight loss of 4.45% was registered for films treated during 2 min. However, after 24 h in 50% of relative humidity, the water lost was recovered. WVP increased from 0.53 to 0.65².kPa after plasma treatment during 2 min, that is desired for some foods applications which require water passage through the packaging. In general, the plasma technology affects the properties and structure of fish protein films. Since this technology changes the surface of polymers, these films might be used to develop multilayer materials, as well as to incorporate active substances in the surface to obtain active packaging.

Keywords: Food Packaging, Plasma Treatment, fish protein films, improvement of properties

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1 Plasma Treatment of Poppy and Flax Seeds in Fluidized Bed Reactor

Authors: Jakub Perner, Jindrich Matousek, Hana Malinska


Adverse environmental conditions at planting (especially water shortage) can lead into reduced germination rate of seeds. The plasma treatment is one of the possibilities that can solve this problem. Such treatment can increase the germination rate of seeds and make germs grow faster due to increased wettability of seeds surface or disrupted seed coat. This could lead to enhanced oxygen and water transport into the seed and improve germination. Poppy and flax seeds were treated in fluidized bed reactor, and discharge power ranging from 10 to 40 W was used. The working gas was air at pressure 100 Pa. Poppy seeds were then planted into Petri dishes on 7 layers of filter paper saturated with water, and the number of germinated seeds was observed from 3 to 6 days after planting. Every plasma treated sample showed improved germination rate compared to untreated seeds (75.5%) six days after planting. Samples treated in 40W discharge had the highest germination rate (81.2%). The decreased contact angle of water on treated poppy seeds was observed from 85° (untreated) to 30–35° (treated). Untreated flax seeds have a germination rate over 98%; therefore, the weight of seeds was taken to be a measure of the successful germination. Treated flax seeds had a slightly higher weight than untreated. Also, the contact angle of water decreased from 99° (untreated) to 65-73° (treated); therefore the treatment of both species is considered to be successful.

Keywords: Plasma Treatment, Germination, flax, poppy

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