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Polymers 2017, 9(11), 614; doi:10.3390/polym9110614

Short Oxygen Plasma Treatment Leading to Long-Term Hydrophilicity of Conductive PCL-PPy Nanofiber Scaffolds

1
Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3216, Australia
2
Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable and Biobased Polyesters)
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Abstract

Electrically conductive scaffolds are of significant interest in tissue regeneration. However, the chemistry of the existing scaffolds usually lacks the bioactive features for effective interaction with cells. In this study, poly(ε-caprolactone) was electrospun into aligned nanofibers with 0.58 µm average diameter. Electrospinning was followed by polypyrrole coating on the surface of the fibers, which resulted in 48 kΩ/sq surface resistivity. An oxygen plasma treatment was conducted to change the hydrophobic surface of the fiber mats into a hydrophilic substrate. The water contact angle was reduced from 136° to 0°, and this change remained on the surface of the material even after one year. An indirect cytotoxicity test was conducted, which showed cytocompatibility of the fibrous scaffolds. To measure the cell growth on samples, fibroblast cells were cultured on fibers for 7 days. The cell distribution and density were observed and calculated based on confocal images taken of the cell culture experiment. The number of cells on the plasma-treated sample was more than double than that of sample without plasma treatment. The long-lasting hydrophilicity of the plasma treated fibers with conductive coating is the significant contribution of this work for regeneration of electrically excitable tissues. View Full-Text
Keywords: durable plasma treatment; conductive scaffold; hydrophilic PPy-coated PCL fibers; nanofiber scaffolds; tissue engineering durable plasma treatment; conductive scaffold; hydrophilic PPy-coated PCL fibers; nanofiber scaffolds; tissue engineering
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Shafei, S.; Foroughi, J.; Chen, Z.; Wong, C.S.; Naebe, M. Short Oxygen Plasma Treatment Leading to Long-Term Hydrophilicity of Conductive PCL-PPy Nanofiber Scaffolds. Polymers 2017, 9, 614.

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