(376b) Surface Functionalization of Polymeric Particles Using Low Temperature Atmospheric Pressure Plasma

Gilliam, M., University of Missouri - Columbia
Farhat, S., Kettering University
Stubbs, B., Kettering University
Magyar, M., Kettering University
Zand, A., Kettering University

Atmospheric plasma was used to modify the surfaces of polymeric particles and alter the surface properties of the particles.  The low temperature process was run under continuous operation with a fast treatment time.  With the addition of chemical precursors to the plasma, the process has a capability to create a variety of surface functional groups, thus enabling tailoring of the surface properties for a given particle type and application.  In particular, the use of polymeric particles in medical technology and life sciences is growing very rapidly.  For many applications, a hydrophilic surface or a surface with affinity for specific biomolecules are often desirable.

The apparatus and methods for surface treatment of the particles are presented, as well as results of the process applied to polymeric particles, including polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).  Chemical precursors, including water vapor, glycerol, and hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA), were added to the plasma process to introduce new surface functional groups.  The effects of the plasma processing parameters on the properties of the particles were investigated.   The treated particles were evaluated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), contact angle of the pressed particles, and UV-visible spectroscopy, which was used in a manner to evaluate stability of dispersions of treated particles in water and settling over time.  Plasma processing conditions and the choice of chemical precursor significantly influenced the type of functional group and hydrophilicity of the particles.