Electrostatic Self-Assembly of Biocompatible Thin Films

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Virginia Tech

The design of biocompatible synthetic surfaces is an important issue for medical applications. Surface modification techniques provide good approaches to control the interactions between living systems and implanted materials by modifying the surface characteristics.

This thesis work demonstrates the feasibility and effectiveness of the novel and low-cost electrostatic self-assembly (ESA) technique for the manufacturing of biocompatible thin film coatings. The ESA process is based on the alternating adsorption of molecular layers of oppositely charged polymers/nanoparticles, and can be applied in the fabrication of well-organized multilayer thin films possessing various biocompatible properties. ESA multilayer assemblies incorporating various biomaterials including metal oxides and polymers were fabricated, the uniformity, thickness, layer-by-layer linearity, and surface morphology of the films were characterized by UV/vis spectroscopy, ellipsometry, and AFM imaging.

Preliminary biocompatibility testing was conducted, concentrating on contact angle surface characterization and the in vitro measurements of protein adsorption. The use of Fourier Transform Infrared Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy (FT-IRAS) for the investigation of the protein adsorption behavior upon the ESA multilayer films is presented.

electrostatic self-assembly (ESA), multilayer thin films, biocompatibility, protein adsorption