Effect of polymer deposition method on thermoresponsive polymer films and resulting cellular behavior

J. A. Reed, S. A. Love, A. E. Lucero, C. L. Haynes, H. E. Canavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) or pNIPAM is a thermoresponsive polymer that is widely studied for use in bioengineering applications. The interest in this polymer lies in the polymer's unique capability to undergo a sharp property change near physiological temperature, which aids in the spontaneous release of biological cells from substrates. Currently, there are many methods for depositing pNIPAM onto substrates, including atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and electron beam ionization. Each method yields pNIPAM-coated substrates with different surface characteristics that can influence cell behavior. In this work, we compare two methods of pNIPAM deposition: plasma deposition and codeposition with a sol-gel. The resulting pNIPAM films were analyzed for use as substrates for mammalian cell culture based on surface characterization (XPS, ToF-SIMS, AFM, contact angles), cell attachment/detachment studies, and an analysis of exocytosis function using carbon-fiber microelectrode amperometry (CFMA). We find that although both methods are useful for the deposition of functional pNIPAM films, plasma deposition is much preferred for cell-sheet engineering applications because of the films' thermoresponse, minimal change in cell density, and maintenance of supported cell exocytosis function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2281-2287
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 31 2012


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