• Modulating the wettability characteristics and bioactivity of polymeric materials using laser surface treatment

      Waugh, David G.; Lawrence, Jonathan; Shukla, Pratik; University of Chester (AIP Publishing, 2016-03-31)
      It has been thoroughly demonstrated previously that lasers hold the ability to modulate surface properties of materials with the result being utilization of such lasers in both research and industry. What is more, these laser surface treatments have been shown to affect the adhesion characteristics and bio-functionality of those materials. This paper details the use of a Synrad CO2 laser marking system to surface treat nylon 6,6 and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The laser-modified surfaces were analyzed using 3D surface profilometry to ascertain an increase in surface roughness when compared to the as-received samples. The wettability characteristics were determined using the sessile drop method and showed variations in contact angle for both the nylon 6,6 and PTFE. For the PTFE it was shown that the laser surface treatment gave rise to a more hydrophobic surface with contact angles of up to 150° being achieved. For the nylon 6,6, it was observed that the contact angle was modulated approximately ±10° for different samples which could be attributed to a likely mixed state wetting regime. The effects of the laser surface treatment on osteoblast cell and stem cell growth is discussed showing an overall enhancement of biomimetic properties, especially for the nylon 6,6. This work investigates the potential governing parameters which drives the wettability/adhesion characteristics and bioactivity of the laser surface treated polymeric materials.