Plasma activation as a powerful tool for selective modification of cellulose fibers towards biomedical applications
Cellulosic substrates are known for their biocompatibility, non-cytotoxicity, hypoallergenicity and sterilizability. It is therefore desirable to have a bundle of methods to equip them with tailored properties such as affinity profiles for various applications. In the case of highly swelling materials such as cellulose sponges, ""dry"" functionalization using plasma activation is the method of choice. The purpose of the study was to adapt low-pressure plasma technology for targeted cellulose modification. Using plasma (pre-) treatment combined with gaseous reactants like O2, ethylene oxide or silane, three different cellulose modifications were obtained and characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Swelling measurements and bacterial adhesion tests revealed distinctive material properties compared to educt. The development of these non-aqueous methods demonstrated an effective procedural route towards modified cellulosic materials for usage in wound dressing, micro patterned assays or bacterial filtration.