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Cell adhesion on polytetrafluoroethylene modified by UV-irradiation in an ammonia atmosphere



We report on the modification of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) by exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) light of a Xe2*-excimer lamp at a wavelength of 172 nm in an ammonia atmosphere. Typical treatment times were up to 30 min. Subsequently, the samples were grafted with the amino acid alanine from an aqueous solution. The samples were characterized by means of optical transmission spectroscopy, laser-induced fluorescence and contact-angle measurements. We studied the adhesion of rat aortic smooth muscle cells (SMC) and mouse fibroblasts (3T3 cells) to the modified polymer samples using an in vitro technique, where the population density and spreadout of adhering cells is determined 24 h after seeding by image analysis. For both cell types the exposure of PTFE to UV-light in an ammonia atmosphere resulted in a significant increase in the number of adhering cells and in the size of their spreading area. The grafting with alanine enhanced this effect. Additional experiments with human endothelial cells (HEC) also demonstrated improved adhesion to modified PTFE. Thus, PTFE modified by our method appears to be a promising material for fabrication of artificial vascular prostheses and implants or for cultivation of skin substitutes. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 67A: 130–137, 2003