Plasma-induced graft copolymerization of HEMA onto silicone rubber and TPX film improving rabbit corneal epithelial cell attachment and growth.

PMID 8199288


A poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA)-grafted polymer film was prepared by plasma-induced graft copolymerization onto an elastic material, silicone rubber, and a plastic material, poly(4-methyl-1-pentene) (TPX). The control, Ar plasma-treated and pHEMA-grafted silicone rubber and TPX surfaces were characterized by ESCA, FTIR-ATR, SEM and contact angle techniques. ESCA verified the respective chemical shift of control and Ar plasma-treated films. The presence of the grafted pHEMA was also verified by ESCA. The introduction of pHEMA onto a hydrophobic support provided an adequate surface for rabbit corneal epithelium cell attachment and growth. Cell attachment and growth onto these surfaces were examined by light microscopy. Cell attachment onto the control and Ar plasma-treated surfaces was negligible, while improved attachment and growth of rabbit corneal epithelium cells was demonstrated on the pHEMA-grafted polymeric surface. At 72 h, the pHEMA-grafted silicone rubber surface attached and grew more cells as compared with those on a pHEMA-grafted TPX surface. The pHEMA-grafted silicone rubber surface demonstrated a confluent cell layer after 72 h.