, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 281-293

Characterization of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Properties for Biomedical Micro/Nanosystems

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Abstract

Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS Sylgard® 184, Dow Corning Corporation) pre-polymer was combined with increasing amounts of cross-linker (5.7, 10.0, 14.3, 21.4, and 42.9 wt.%) and designated PDMS1, PDMS2, PDMS3, PDMS4, and PDMS5, respectively. These materials were processed by spin coating and subjected to common microfabrication, micromachining, and biomedical processes: chemical immersion, oxygen plasma treatment, sterilization, and exposure to tissue culture media. The PDMS formulations were analyzed by gravimetry, goniometry, tensile testing, nanoindentation, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Spin coating of PDMS was formulation dependent with film thickness ranging from 308 μm on PDMS1 to 171 μm on PDMS5 at 200 revolutions per minute (rpm). Ultimate tensile stress (UTS) increased from 3.9 MPa (PDMS1) to 10.8 MPa (PDMS3), and then decreased down to 4.0 MPa (PDMS5). Autoclave sterilization (AS) increased the storage modulus (σ) and UTS in all formulations, with the highest increase in UTS exhibited by PDMS5 (218%). PDMS surface hydrophilicity and micro-textures were generally unaffected when exposed to the different chemicals, except for micro-texture changes after immersion in potassium hydroxide and buffered hydrofluoric, nitric, sulfuric, and hydrofluoric acids; and minimal changes in contact angle after immersion in hexane, hydrochloric acid, photoresist developer, and toluene. Oxygen plasma treatment decreased the contact angle of PDMS2 from 109 to 60. Exposure to tissue culture media resulted in increased PDMS surface element concentrations of nitrogen and oxygen.