Utilizing Plasma Technology to Improve Cellular Adhesion and Antimicrobial Properties of Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles

V. Hembrick-Holloman, V.K. Rangari, T. Samuel, S. Jeelani
Tuskegee University,
United States

Keywords: biocompatibility, hydroxyapatite, low temperature plasma, cell adhesion


In this study, we systematically evaluated the use of plasma on the chemical and physical changes of nanofillers derived from eggshell and seashell waste resources. These nanofillers further used to fabricate tissue engineering polymer scaffolds. Hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles were treated in a rotating drum plasma system at various powers, gas sources, and treatment times. The purpose of this project is to investigate the effect of plasma treatments as an effective means of enhancing the biocompatibility of biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Characterization of the HA surface chemical composition and morphological features was analyzed after plasma modification by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier-transform spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), while surface wettability was studied by measuring the water contact angle. Cell adhesion and morphology was evaluated using SEM analysis, and cell viability using calorimetric analysis. Functionalization of biomaterials surface is a critical factor in exploring the potential of biomaterials in the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine field. Surface modification paves a way for tailoring the biomaterial’s surfaces in accordance to the physiological surrounding of the living cells. Tailoring the surface properties of these materials can lead to enhanced structure and function of engineered tissues. Plasma treatment is a surface modification technique that uses ionized gas to alter the properties by applying highly reactive species on the surface. This process can be used to functionalize surfaces, improve surface energy and reduce the contact angle without changing the bulk properties of the material. The usefulness of nanostructured biomaterials for tissue engineering is very well acknowledged. Less is known on the combined effect of nanostructured biomaterial surfaces for tissue engineering applications. By altering the surface wetting properties and adding highly reactive functional groups to HA nanoparticles with plasma, tissue engineering scaffolds can potentially exhibit both enhanced cellular adhesion and antimicrobial properties.