The effects of oxygen-based radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (rf PECVD) on the surface of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) polymers and the influence thereof on protein adsorption and on bone–cell behavior have been studied. Thin films and porous scaffolds based on PLLA polymer were developed, and the role of surface modifications were investigated extensively. PECVD surface treatments were used to alter surface functionality and modulate protein adsorption on the PLLA polymer matrix. In particular, Bovine Serum Albumine fluorescein isothiocyanate (fitc-BSA) conjugate adsorption on patterned surfaces of treated PLLA was analyzed by fluorescence microscopy. Human marrow stromal cells (MSCs) were cultured on scaffolds and cell adhesion and morphology were assessed using fluorescence microscopy. The results indicated that the PLLA surface became hydrophilic and its roughness increased with the treatment time and it had a dominant influence on the adsorption process of the protein. The outcome of the plasma treatment of various PLLA surfaces has been shown to be the up-regulator of the cell-adhesive proteins expression and consequently the improvement of cell adhesion and growth. Oxygen-treated PLLA promoted higher adhesion and proliferation of the MSCs in comparison to the untreated samples. It can be concluded that following plasma treatment, PLLA samples show enhanced affinity for osteoprogenitor cells.
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