Microscopy and Microanalysis

Atomic Force Microscopy Biological Applications

A Multiscale Approach to Assess the Complex Surface of Polyurethane Catheters and the Effects of a New Plasma Decontamination Treatment on the Surface Properties

Omar Mrada1, Johanna Sauniera1 c1, Caroline Aymes-Chodura1, Véronique Rosilioa2a3, Sylvie Bouttiera4, Florence Agnelya2a3, Pascal Auberta5, Jacky Vignerona6, Arnaud Etcheberrya6 and Najet Yagoubia1

a1 Université Paris-Sud 11, EA 401, IFR 141, Faculté de Pharmacie, F-92296 Châtenay Malabry, France

a2 Université Paris-Sud 11, UMR 8612, Faculté de Pharmacie, F-92296 Châtenay Malabry, France

a3 CNRS, UMR 8612, Faculté de Pharmacie, F-92296 Châtenay Malabry, France

a4 Université Paris-Sud 11, EA 3534, Faculté de Pharmacie, F-92296 Châtenay Malabry, France

a5 Université Evry Val d'Essonne, LMN, F-91000 Evry, France

a6 Université Versailles, ILV CNRS UMR 8180, Institut Lavoisier de Versailles, F-78035 Versailles, France


Polyurethane catheters made of Pellethane 2363-80AE® were treated with a low temperature plasma developed for the decontamination of reusable polymer devices in hospitals. We investigated the modifications of the polymer surface by studying the topographic modifications, the chemical modifications, and their consequences on the wettability and bacterial adhesion. This study showed that plasma treatment modified the topography and grafted oxygen and nitrogen species onto the surface, resulting in an increase in the surface polarity. This effect could be correlated to the number of nitrogen atoms interacting with the surface. Moreover, this study demonstrated the significance of multiscale heterogeneities, and the complexity of industrial medical devices made from polymers. Their surface can be heterogeneous, and they contain additives that can migrate and change the surface composition.

(Received January 21 2010)

(Accepted June 22 2010)


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: johanna.saunier@u-psud.fr