Surface modification of polymers by plasma treatments for the enhancement of biocompatibility and controlled drug release

S. Yoshida, K. Hagiwara, T. Hasebe, A. Hotta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


Polymers have been widely used for biomedical purposes such as medical devices, tissue engineering scaffolds, and drug carriers for drug delivery system (DDS). Using polymers for such medical devices should be entirely sensible, as polymers are generally very soft, highly cost-effective, and relatively biocompatible. In order to encourage further development in the biocompatibility of the polymers for the enhanced use of the materials, the functionalization of the polymer surfaces has been deliberately introduced. Plasma modification is one of the most efficient ways for the surface treatment of polymers, since plasma treatment could selectively modify the chemical and the physical properties of the surface of the polymers by not affecting the original bulk characteristics of the polymers. Also, plasma surface modification offers shorter treatment time as compared with other surface modification methods. When plasma was applied to the polymer surface, functional groups, graft polymerization, coatings, and molecular crosslinking formation would be introduced with or without the change in the surface roughness of the polymer. The highly functionalized polymers by the plasma modifications would be effectively used for the materials in tissue engineering or drug delivery systems. In this paper, the fabrication and the characterization of polymers by several types of plasma treatments are reviewed, followed by the introduction of their applications to the materials in drug delivery systems and tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 25


  • Controlled-release
  • Drug eluting systems
  • Plasma treatment
  • Polymers
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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