Biotechnology: Plasmas in
ByAndrew Michelmore, Jason D. Whittle, Robert D. Short
Pages 7

Biotechnological techniques to manipulate living cells and organisms have been in use for more than 1000 years. Since the 1980s, the design and use of materials and devices for use with cells has accelerated rapidly and now enable researchers to optimize the expansion and manipulation of cells, for example, in tissue-engineered products and to study cell processes quickly, and in even smaller volumes, e.g., in “lab-on-a-chip” devices. Central to these developments has been the surface molecular engineering of the substrates on which cells “sit.” In this entry, we show how surfaces can be modified using plasmas in a variety of ways, including modification of the surface using inert gases, immobilization of biomolecules to surfaces, and deposition of chemically functionalized films. Whilst we focus on cells, we hope that we demonstrate the flexibility that plasma modification allows in tailoring the chemical properties of a surface for any biotechnology application.