Optimization of Parylene C and Parylene N thin films for use in cellular co-culture and tissue barrier models

Sci Rep. 2023 Mar 14;13(1):4262. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-31305-4.


Parylene has been used widely used as a coating on medical devices. It has also been used to fabricate thin films and porous membranes upon which to grow cells. Porous membranes are integral components of in vitro tissue barrier and co-culture models, and their interaction with cells and tissues affects the performance and physiological relevance of these model systems. Parylene C and Parylene N are two biocompatible Parylene variants with potential for use in these models, but their effect on cellular behavior is not as well understood as more commonly used cell culture substrates, such as tissue culture treated polystyrene and glass. Here, we use a simple approach for benchtop oxygen plasma treatment and investigate the changes in cell spreading and extracellular matrix deposition as well as the physical and chemical changes in material surface properties. Our results support and build on previous findings of positive effects of plasma treatment on Parylene biocompatibility while showing a more pronounced improvement for Parylene C compared to Parylene N. We measured relatively minor changes in surface roughness following plasma treatments, but significant changes in oxygen concentration at the surface persisted for 7 days and was likely the dominant factor in improving cellular behavior. Overall, this study offers facile and relatively low-cost plasma treatment protocols that provide persistent improvements in cell-substrate interactions on Parylene that match and exceed tissue culture polystyrene.

PMID:36918711 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-31305-4


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