Control of uniformity of plasma-surface modification inside of small-diameter polyethylene tubing using microplasma diagnostics

Jason L. Lauer, J. Leon Shohet, Ralph M. Albrecht, Stephane Esnault, James S. Malter, Ulrich H. von Andrian, Stephen B. Shohet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A hollow-cathode microplasma was used to modify the lumenal surface of small-diameter polyethylene (PE). We make use of two microplasma diagnostics to monitor the plasma properties during the treatment process. A microwave cavity was used to measure the density of the microplasma. Emitted light from the microplasma was fed into a monochromator at various positions along the PE tube to assess uniformity of the microplasma. Effectiveness of plasma treatments were evaluated using the capillary-rise method at various positions along the tubing. We show a correlation between the properties of the inner surface of the PE tubing and the light emitted from the plasma. A Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) surfactant was immobilized to the lumenal surface of the PE tubing using the microplasma discharge. An in vitro blood-circulation loop was constructed to test the hematocompatibility of the PE tubes. After blood exposure, scanning electron microscope images were taken to assess the density of adhering platelets along the length of the tubes. The plasma-treated tubing showed fewer blood adherents than the untreated tubing. By suitably controlling the pressure drop along the tube, the uniformity of the microplasma treatment along the tubing can be optimized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-798
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Argon plasma immobilization
  • Biomaterials
  • Blood
  • Capillary rise method
  • Hematocompatibility
  • Hollow cathode discharges
  • Microplasma diagnostics
  • Microplasma surface modification
  • Microwave cavity
  • Polyethylene oxide (PEO)
  • Small-diameter polymer tubing
  • Vascular grafts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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