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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2003;14(10):1135-53.

Surface treatment of polycarbonate films aimed at biomedical application.

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Centre Européen d'Etude du Diabète, Faculté de Médecine, Service d'Endocrinologie et de Diabétologie, Hôpital Civil, 1, place de l'Hôpital, 67 091 Strasbourg, France.


Aiming to encapsulate pancreatic islets, a biocompatible polycarbonate membrane (Whatman) was treated with plasma argon in order to improve its surface properties. The argon plasma treatment decreased the hydrophobicity of the membrane by fixing polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) at the surface. The water angle contact decreased from 47 degrees to 20 degrees after this treatment, while the structure and pore diameter were preserved. The treatment also increased significantly the water permeability from 62 +/- 8 ml/min to 200 +/- 29 ml/min (P < 0.001). ToF-SIMS analyses revealed that the argon plasma treatment of the membrane allowed the installation of an uniform PVP layer at the surface. The concentration equilibrum in glucose was reached after 8 h diffusion for the treated membrane, while it was only 32.4 +/- 8.6% (P < 0.01) for the untreated membrane. The biocompatibility of the polycarbonate membrane was assessed after one month of implantation in rats and proved to be unaffected by the surface treatment. In conclusion, the present study provided sufficient information to establish a relationship between the physicochemical modifications of the PVP-plasma-treated polycarbonate membrane and the improvement in its permeability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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