There is a large number of synthetic polymers, which are generally suitable as implant materials due to their chemical, biological or mechanical properties. What many of them have in common, however, is the challenge of growing properly into the body, which poses design demands specifically to the implant’s surface. Requirements that many conventional plastic processing methods cannot meet, especially in the small size range. Here, we leverage the fiber forming technology Melt Electrowriting to additively structure polymer surfaces.
We developed a method to apply a structured fiber layer onto solid polymer surfaces via Melt Electrowriting and showed this for various polymers used in biomedical applications. The resulting surfaces were assessed via contact angle measurements and cell adhesion tests. SEM confirmed the accuracy of the surface structuring patterns.
Fiber pattern and sizes characteristic of Melt Electrowriting were successfully obtained on top of solid polymer surfaces. The effect of the deposited fibers on the surface properties were shown for different biocompatible polymers. Specifically, contact angle measurements and cell adhesion experiments showed promising results for the application as tissue engineering scaffolds.
This study shows a valuable approach to optimize implant surfaces via Melt Electrowriting.