Characterization of Biomaterials by Soft X-Ray Spectromicroscopy
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Synchrotron-based soft X-ray spectromicroscopy techniques are emerging as useful tools to characterize potentially biocompatible materials and to probe protein interactions with model biomaterial surfaces. Simultaneous quantitative chemical analysis of the near surface region of the candidate biomaterial, and adsorbed proteins, peptides or other biological species can be obtained at high spatial resolution via scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) and X-ray photoemission electron microscopy (X-PEEM). Both techniques use near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectral contrast for chemical identification and quantitation. The capabilities of STXM and X-PEEM for the analysis of biomaterials are reviewed and illustrated by three recent studies: (1) characterization of hydrophobic surfaces, including adsorption of fibrinogen (Fg) or human serum albumin (HSA) to hydrophobic polymeric thin films, (2) studies of HSA adsorption to biodegradable or potentially biocompatible polymers, and (3) studies of biomaterials under fully hydrated conditions. Other recent applications of STXM and X-PEEM to biomaterials are also reviewed.
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