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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) Plasma Treatment of Medical Grade Poly(methyl methacrylate)

Dipartimento di Fisica “G. Occhialini”, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, I-20126 Milano, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Via Roberto Cozzi 55, I-20125 Milano, Italy
Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2020, 10(2), 135;
Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2020 / Accepted: 30 January 2020 / Published: 3 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Plasma Treatments)
Medical-grade poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) is widely employed in the fabrication of intraocular lenses (IOLs), but suffers from opacification, a postoperative complication that leads to the failure of the implanted intraocular lenses. The opacification occurs when inorganic-based deposits accumulate on the surface of the IOL and are prevalent in hydrophilic materials. Here, the surface of medical-grade PMMA has been fluorinated by sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) plasma treatment to increase surface hydrophobicity thus improving the material lifetime in optical applications. Hydrophobic properties of the treated PMMA were investigated by means of contact angle measurements, while chemical modification was assessed by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR/FTIR) spectroscopy. Surface morphological changes due to possible etching effects were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The transparency of the treated PMMA was assessed by UV/VIS spectroscopy. Finally, the influence of the plasma treatment on the inorganic salts deposition was investigated by immersion in Simulated Aqueous Humour (SAH), followed by XPS analysis. The modified samples showed less deposition on the surface than the unmodified sample, moreover, a decrease of the transmittance in the UV-violet range (300–430 nm) was detected, open the possibility of interesting applications of this treatment for the creation of a UV filter in ophthalmic optical devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA); sulfur hexafluoride; plasma treatment; opacification; simulated aqueous humour (SAH); intraocular lenses poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA); sulfur hexafluoride; plasma treatment; opacification; simulated aqueous humour (SAH); intraocular lenses
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zanini, S.; Papagni, A.; Vaghi, L.; Kaur Thatti, B.; Barton, S.; Williams, N.; Shokri, N.; Riccardi, C. Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) Plasma Treatment of Medical Grade Poly(methyl methacrylate). Coatings 2020, 10, 135.

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