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Understanding the wetting properties of nanostructured selenium coatings: the role of nanostructured surface roughness and air-pocket formation

Authors Tran PA, Webster TJ

Received 19 January 2013

Accepted for publication 10 February 2013

Published 20 May 2013 Volume 2013:8(1) Pages 2001—2009


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

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Phong A Tran,1,2 Thomas J Webster3

1Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 2The Particulate Fluid Processing Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 3Department of Chemical Engineering and Program in Bioengineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract: Wetting properties of biomaterials, in particular nanomaterials, play an important role, as these influence interactions with biological elements, such as proteins, bacteria, and cells. In this study, the wetting phenomenon of titanium substrates coated with selenium nanoparticles was studied using experimental and mathematical modeling tools. Importantly, these selenium-coated titanium substrates were previously reported to increase select protein adsorption (such as vitronectin and fibronectin), to decrease bacteria growth, and increase bone cell growth. Increased selenium nanoparticle coating density resulted in higher contact angles but remained within the hydrophilic regime. This trend was found in disagreement with the Wenzel model, which is widely used to understand the wetting properties of rough surfaces. The trend also did not fit well with the Cassie–Baxter model, which was developed to understand the wetting properties of composite surfaces. A modified wetting model was thus proposed in this study, to understand the contributing factors of material properties to the hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of these nanostructured selenium-coated surfaces. The analysis and model created in this study can be useful in designing and/or understanding the wetting behavior of numerous biomedical materials and in turn, biological events (such as protein adsorption as well as bacteria and mammalian cell functions).

Keywords: hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, Wenzel model, Cassie–Baxter model, free energy, implant material, proteins, cells, bacteria

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