Covalent Surface Modification of Degradable Polymers for Increased Biocompatibility
Sammanfattning: Degradable polymers have gained an increased attention in the field of biomedical applications over the past decades, for example in tissue engineering. One way of improving the biocompatibility of these polymers is by chemical surface modification, however the risk of degradation during the modification procedure is a limiting factor. In some biomedical applications, for example in nerve guides, a patterned surface is desired to improve the cell attachment and proliferation.In this thesis a new non-destructive, single-step, and solvent free method for surface modification of degradable polymers is described. Poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) substrates have been functionalized with one of the following vinyl monomers; N-vinylpyrrolidone (VP), acrylamide (AAm), or maleic anhydride (MAH) grafts. The substrates were subjected to a vapor phase atmosphere constituted of a mixture of a vinyl monomer and a photoinitiator (benzophenone) in a closed chamber at very low pressure and under UV irradiation. Poly(?-caprolactone) (PCL), poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), and poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) have been surface modified with VP using the same procedure to show the versatility of the method. The wettability of all of the four substrates increased after grafting. The surface compositions were confirmed by ATR-FTIR and XPS. The VP grafted PLLA, PTMC and PLGA substrates have been shown to be good substrates for the normal human cells i.e. keratinocytes and fibroblasts, to adhere and proliferate on. The topography of substrates with well defined nano patterns was preserved during grafting, since the grafted layer is very thin. We have also shown that the method is useful for a simultaneous chemical and topographical modification of substrates by masked vapor phase grafting. The surface topography was determined with SEM and AFM.
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