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Use of Atomic Oxygen for Increased Water Contact Angles of Various Polymers for Biomedical ApplicationsIn the low Earth orbit (LEO) space environment, spacecraft surfaces can be altered during atomic oxygen exposure through oxidation and erosion. There can be terrestrial benefits of such interactions, such as the modification of hydrophobic or hydrophilic properties of polymers due to chemical modification and texturing. Such modification of the surface may be useful for biomedical applications. For example, atomic oxygen texturing may increase the hydrophilicity of polymers, such as chlorotrifluoroethylene (Aclar), thus allowing increased adhesion and spreading of cells on textured Petri dishes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of atomic oxygen exposure on the hydrophilicity of nine different polymers. To determine whether hydrophilicity remains static after atomic oxygen exposure or changes with exposure, the contact angles between the polymer and a water droplet placed on the polymer s surface were measured. The polymers were exposed to atomic oxygen in a radio frequency (RF) plasma asher. Atomic oxygen plasma treatment was found to significantly alter the hydrophilicity of non-fluorinated polymers. Significant decreases in the water contact angle occurred with atomic oxygen exposure. Fluorinated polymers were found to be less sensitive to changes in hydrophilicity for equivalent atomic oxygen exposures, and two of the fluorinated polymers became more hydrophobic. The majority of change in water contact angle of the non-fluorinated polymers was found to occur with very low fluence exposures, indicating potential cell culturing benefit with short treatment time.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Beger, Lauren
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
Roberts, Lily
(Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH, United States)
deGroh, Kim
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Banks, Bruce
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2007
Subject Category
Chemistry And Materials (General)
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 22R-612-50-81-0441-01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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