Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition

Immobilization of functionalized alkyl-poly(ethylene oxide) surfactants on poly(ethylene) surfaces by means of an argon plasma treatment.

PMID 9399145


Alkyl-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) surfactants containing a terminal hydroxyl, sulfate, or carboxylate group were grafted at the surface of poly(ethylene) (PE) samples to improve their blood compatibility. Grafting was achieved by immobilizing PEO surfactants on PE using an argon plasma treatment. The sulfate group containing PEO surfactant was synthesized by sulfating polyoxyethylene(20)stearylether (Brij78; B) with chlorosulfonic acid. A carboxylate-terminated surfactant was synthesized by a substitution reaction of the sodium alkoxide form of B with sodium iodoacetate. XPS analysis of the modified PE samples showed that at short plasma treatment times of up to 5 s the structure of the immobilized surfactants is largely retained. When plasma treatment times longer than 30 s were applied, the PEO chains of the surfactants were degraded. The wettability of the modified PE samples was improved compared to the unmodified PE samples. The wettability of the modified samples did not change when they were stored in air at room temperature for at least 12 weeks.