Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Toward ecologically benign alternative for cleaning of delicate biomedical instruments

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
7.00.00  Interdisciplinary research     

Code Science Field
T155  Technological sciences  Coatings and surface treatment 

Code Science Field
2.11  Engineering and Technology  Other engineering and technologies 
gas discharge, plasma, plasma cleaning, plasma etching, medical instruments, proteins, polymer materials, surface analysis
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (20)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18271  PhD Miha Čekada  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  430 
2.  17577  PhD Aleš Doliška  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  175 
3.  26476  PhD Aleksander Drenik  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2012  667 
4.  29520  PhD Kristina Eleršič Filipič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  95 
5.  18635  Tatjana Filipič    Technical associate  2011 - 2014  24 
6.  27704  PhD Nina Hauptman  Chemistry  Researcher  2011  98 
7.  28480  PhD Ita Junkar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2011 - 2013  278 
8.  23979  Klavdija Kitek    Technical associate  2011 - 2013 
9.  04423  PhD Marta Klanjšek Gunde  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  559 
10.  15703  PhD Janez Kovač  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  661 
11.  26353  MSc Darij Kreuh  Mechanics  Researcher  2011 - 2014  63 
12.  04629  PhD Tatjana Kreže  Textile and leather  Researcher  2013 - 2014  276 
13.  10429  PhD Miran Mozetič  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,341 
14.  09090  PhD Peter Panjan  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  789 
15.  19268  PhD Zdenka Peršin Fratnik  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  225 
16.  07814  PhD Karin Stana Kleinschek  Textile and leather  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,115 
17.  17622  Janez Trtnik    Technical associate  2011 - 2014  18 
18.  20048  PhD Alenka Vesel  Electronic components and technologies  Head  2011 - 2014  680 
19.  24558  Jana Zajc    Technical associate  2014  31 
20.  31618  PhD Rok Zaplotnik  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2013 - 2014  271 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,268 
2.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  88,083 
3.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  24,054 
4.  2497  EKLIPTIK Ltd.  Ljubljana  5323223  107 
Interdisciplinary research on removal of selected organic materials from the surface of surgical devices by non-equilibrium gaseous treatment will be performed. Experiments will be performed in three types of non-equilibrium oxygen gas found in weakly ionized plasma in glow discharge, early afterglow and late afterglow. The organic materials will be a simple polymer, three different proteins, and bovine blood. Extensive experimental as well as theoretical work on interaction of different reactive particles will allow for determination of the removal rates under different conditions, as well as quantification of the results in terms of reaction probabilities. The original approach will allow for preparation of a database on interaction probabilities that will represent an important tool for broad community of researchers worldwide working on interaction between reactive gaseous plasma and organic materials. Furthermore, interaction between reactive particles and surgical devices will be studied in order to determine critical parameters that are tolerated for future dissemination of results in terms of application in surgical practice. Advanced methods for creation of non-equilibrium gases with adjustable concentration of reactive particles will be applied and characterized by specially adopted catalytic probes as well as optical techniques. Thickness of organic films will be monitored by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) while the surface properties will be monitored using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), secondary ion-mass spectrometry (SIMS), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results will allow for preparation of a patent application as well as several scientific papers suitable for publication in top quality journals. Systematic experimental as well as theoretical work will demonstrate the applicability of this technique (that fits best to physical chemistry) in medical practice. Industrial partner will gain appropriate knowledge that may allow for future dissemination of the results.
Significance for science
Our original results on etching of blood proteins and polymers open a new approach to solving the problem of selective interaction of reactive plasma radicals with organic materials. The application of plasma as a method for cleaning of various materials including medical devices is a very hot topic due to many advantages such as possibility to achieve extremely clean surfaces and its ecological integrity. In practice, however, one can encounter problems in the case of removing organic impurities from the surfaces of the polymer materials, where we need to achieve highly selective interaction of plasma radicals only with the organic impurities leaving the polymer surface intact. Our results have confirmed the possibility to use plasma as a method for cleaning also in such extreme situations. By getting knowledge on understanding of the role and the density of reactive plasma particles, which play a key role in the surface reactions, we found out that by careful selection of discharge parameters, we can obtain high etching rates of impurities (blood proteins) and marginal etching rate of the polymer substrate. These results clearly show that it is possible to remove the layer of impurities from the polymer surface much before the detectable etching of the polymer begins.
Significance for the country
To the best of our knowledge there are not many groups in Slovenia performing research that leads to development of new products or services for biomedical applications. Such products and services are characterized by high value added. The activities within this project enhance research in this field which is a priority in highest developed countries worldwide. These activities enable Slovenian partners to compete with groups in highest developed countries and open a niche which is characterized by extremely high value added.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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