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Polymers 2016, 8(4), 144; doi:10.3390/polym8040144

Rapid Hydrophilization of Model Polyurethane/Urea (PURPEG) Polymer Scaffolds Using Oxygen Plasma Treatment

1
Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova cesta 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Multidisciplinary Research Center, Shantou University, Shantou 515063, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Esmaiel Jabbari
Received: 12 February 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)

Abstract

Polyurethane/urea copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PURPEG) were exposed to weakly ionized, highly reactive low-pressure oxygen plasma to improve their sorption kinetics. The plasma was sustained with an inductively coupled radiofrequency generator operating at various power levels in either E-mode (up to the forward power of 300 W) or H-mode (above 500 W). The treatments that used H-mode caused nearly instant thermal degradation of the polymer samples. The density of the charged particles in E-mode was on the order of 1016 m−3, which prevented material destruction upon plasma treatment, but the density of neutral O-atoms in the ground state was on the order of 1021 m−3. The evolution of plasma characteristics during sample treatment in E-mode was determined by optical emission spectroscopy; surface modifications were determined by water adsorption kinetics and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; and etching intensity was determined by residual gas analysis. The results showed moderate surface functionalization with hydroxyl and carboxyl/ester groups, weak etching at a rate of several nm/s, rather slow activation down to a water contact angle of 30° and an ability to rapidly absorb water. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyurea; polyurethane; oxygen plasma treatment; RF power; surface modification; surface reaction mechanisms; optical emission spectroscopy; residual gas analysis; mass spectrometry polyurea; polyurethane; oxygen plasma treatment; RF power; surface modification; surface reaction mechanisms; optical emission spectroscopy; residual gas analysis; mass spectrometry
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zaplotnik, R.; Vesel, A.; Primc, G.; Liu, X.; Chen, K.C.; Wei, C.; Xu, K.; Mozetic, M. Rapid Hydrophilization of Model Polyurethane/Urea (PURPEG) Polymer Scaffolds Using Oxygen Plasma Treatment. Polymers 2016, 8, 144.

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