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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G048444/1
Title: Micro-Plasma Technology for Controlling Cellular Interactions on Medical Implants
Principal Investigator: Bradley, Professor JW
Other Investigators:
Sheridan, Dr CM Weightman, Professor P Williams, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Hiden Analytical Ltd Mawson Institute
Department: Electrical Engineering and Electronics
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2009 Ends: 31 May 2013 Value (£): 581,062
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Plasmas - Technological
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
30 Jan 2009 Physics Prioritisation Panel Meeting Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Plasma discharges are an ideal tool to modify polymeric surfaces used in biomedical research, introducing specific elements or functional groups onto the surface. In particular, plasma processes can transfer cell-adhesive or cell-repulsive groups over small domains, often through the use of masks.One major aim of this study will be to develop new atmospheric pressure plasmas (micro-plasma jets) as platforms to create chemically defined bio-surfaces on the micron scale without the need for masks. Atmospheric pressure plasmas have the advantage over vacuum-based techniques in that the plasmas themselves can be scaled to a size approaching cellular dimensions, offering novel applications in medicine and biology, and are cheap, portable and very efficient in terms of power consumption. The micro-plasma jets will operate in number of different gases and polymerisable monomers and chemical features with specific functionality down to 50 microns dimensions will be defined on a range of polymeric surfaces. The technology will be directly applied to the surface modification of intraocular lens IOL implants to study and control the interaction of human epithelial cells (LEC) on the lens. The adhesion, proliferation and migration of LECs on chemically defined surfaces and gradients will be of prime importance in assessing the technology as a tool for bio-materials engineering. The chemical and physical nature of the polymerized surfaces (analysed using XPS and other surface analytical tools) will be correlated to measurements of the plasma jet composition and also the cell-surface interactions.
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Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk