Advanced biomaterials should also be bioactive with regard to desirable cellular responses, such as selective protein adsorption and cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation. To enhance cell-material interactions, surface modifications have commonly been performed. Among the various surface modification approaches, atmospheric pressure glow discharge plasma has been used to change a hydrophobic polymer surface to a hydrophilic surface. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA)-derived scaffolds lack cell recognition signals and the hydrophobic nature of PLLA hinders cell seeding. To make PLLA surfaces more conducive to cell attachment and spreading, surface modifications may be used to create cell-biomaterial interfaces that elicit controlled cell adhesion and maintain differentiated phenotypes. In this study, (He) gaseous atmospheric plasma glow discharge was used to change the characteristics of a 3D-type polymeric scaffold from hydrophobic to hydrophilic on both the outer and inner surfaces of the scaffold and the penetration efficiency with fibronectin was investigated. Field-emission scanning electron microscope images showed that some grooves were formed on the PLLA fibers after plasma treatment. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data also showed chemical changes in the PLLA structure. After plasma treatment, -CN (285.76 eV) was increased in C1s and -NH2 (399.70 eV) was increased significantly and -N=CH (400.80 eV) and -NH3+ (402.05 eV) were newly appeared in N1s. These changes allowed fibronectin to penetrate into the PLLA scaffold; this could be observed by confocal microscopy. In conclusion, helium atmospheric pressure plasma treatment was effective in modifying the polymeric scaffold, making it hydrophilic, and this treatment can also be used in tissue engineering research as needed to make polymers hydrophilic.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Healthcare technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A120878).