Interaction of CO2 laser-modified nylon with osteoblast cells in relation to wettability

D. G. Waugh, J. Lawrence, D. J. Morgan, C. L. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


It has been amply demonstrated previously that CO2 lasers hold the ability to surface modify various polymers. In addition, it has been observed that these surface enhancements can augment the biomimetic nature of the laser irradiated materials. This research has employed a CO2 laser marker to produce trench and hatch topographical patterns with peak heights of around 1 μm on the surface of nylon 6,6. The patterns generated have been analysed using white light interferometry, optical microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was employed to determine the surface oxygen content. Contact angle measurements were used to characterize each sample in terms of wettability. Generally, it was seen that as a result of laser processing the contact angle, surface roughness and surface oxygen content increased whilst the apparent polar and total surface energies decreased. The increase in contact angle and reduction in surface energy components was found to be on account of a mixed intermediate state wetting regime owing to the change in roughness due to the induced topographical patterns. To determine the biomimetic nature of the modified and as-received control samples each one was seeded with 2 × 104 cells/ml normal human osteoblast cells and observed after periods of 24 h and 4 days using optical microscopy and SEM to determine mean cell cover densities and variations in cell morphology. In addition, a haemocytometer was used to show that the cell count for the laser patterned samples had increased by up to a factor of 1.5 compared to the as-received control sample after 4 days of incubation. Significantly, it was determined that all laser-induced patterns gave rise to better cell response in comparison to the as-received control sample studied due to increased preferential cell growth on those surfaces with increased surface roughness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2514-2524
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number8
Early online date7 Aug 2009
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioactivity
  • CO laser
  • Nylon 6,6
  • Osteoblast cells
  • Wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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