Effects of Cold Atmospheric Pressure (CAP) Plasma on Cell Adhesion to Graphene Scaffolds

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2017

Faculty Sponsor

Julia Oxford


Recent innovations in tissue engineering include unique combinations of biological and synthetic materials for the regeneration or replacement of living tissues. A major challenge however, is the promotion of cell adhesion to biocompatible scaffolds. Recently, low pressure ethylene/nitrogen plasma treatments have been shown to increase cell adhesion and viability on various scaffolds such as Poly(ε-caprolactone) and graphene foam. We propose a new method for addressing this challenge by exposing graphene foam to a Cold Atmospheric Pressure (CAP) plasma device. The device generates CAP plasmas by combining alternating current with direct current between two sheets of low temperature co-fired ceramics. Electrical current generated between the low temperature co-fired ceramic plates reacts with atmospheric gases to produce various reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, such as oxygen radicals, ozone, and nitric oxide. The reactive oxygen and nitrogen species from the plasma can charge the surface of the graphene foam, which we predict will promote the adhesion of mesenchymal stem cells to the bioscaffold. We plan to utilize X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to determine functional group addition to the graphene surface. Research has shown that charged groups on the surface indicate high wettability and increased cell adhesion. Therefore, cell adhesion will be analyzed by fluorescent microscopy and cell viability assays. The results of this work will provide a preliminary proof-of-concept to determine if application of CAP plasma to mesenchymal stem cells will promote chondrogenic cell formation and development. In addition, success in this particular application will lead to potential applications of CAP plasma in the creation of bioscaffolds that can be used in tissue engineering.

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