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Thin Solid Films. 2011 Jan 3;519(6):2003-2010.

Patterning the mechanical properties of hydrogen silsesquioxane films using electron beam irradiation for application in mechano cell guidance.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.


Hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) is a material with the potential for studying the effect of surface stiffness on stem cell differentiation. Here, the effects of electron beam dose on the topography and the mechanical properties of HSQ obtained with or without trimethylamine (TMA) development are characterised by atomic force microscopy imaging and indentation. A correlation between the surface stiffness (uniform across the sample) and electron beam exposure is observed. Surface roughness of HSQ samples developed in TMA decreases exponentially with increasing electron beam exposure. Surface coating with plasma polymerised allylamine (ppAAm) leads to an overall decrease in stiffness values. However, the increase in surface stiffness with increasing electron beam exposure is still evident. The ppAAm coating is shown to facilitate human mesenchymal stem cell adhesion.

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