Plasma surface modification of polymers for biomedical use
Polymeric materials can be used in many application areas due to their mechanical (e.g. elastic) characteristics, chemical stability, and their light weight, as well as for their many design possibilities. Even in the fields of medicine and biotechnology many products are completely or partly made of polymers. In contact with biological systems, compatibility of these materials is not always given. To fulfill the requirements for medical applications, the surfaces have to be modified. Plasma techniques are demonstrated as an appropriate tool for the generation of the demanded surface properties. Experimental data are given for surface modification by plasma polymerization, with retention of the functional groups of the monomers used. Qualitative and quantitative characterization of the thin films with respect to the type and density of available groups at the surfaces is presented. Some possible applications of plasma-modified polymers are also discussed.