A facile and reproducible route that can lead to two-dimensional arrays of nanopores in thin polymer films is demonstrated. The formation of the pores in the polymer films involves breath figure phenomenon and occurs during the film deposition by spin coating. The formation of nanoporous thin films takes only few seconds, and the method does not require complex equipment or expensive chemicals. This method also constitutes a straightforward approach to control the size of the pores formed in thin films. Besides allowing control over the average pore size of the porous films, the use of dynamic deposition with the breath figure phenomenon causes the reduction in the pore size to nanometer scale. The nanoporous arrays obtained by the breath figure are applied as substrates for cell growth, and the effect of their nanopore size on cell growth was evaluated. Notably, it is found that cell viability is related to pore size, where 2D nanoporous structure is more beneficial for cell culture than 2D microporous structures. The change in the average pore size of the polymer films from 1.22 μm to 346 nm results in a threefold increase in cell viability.
Fragal, Vanessa H., Thelma Sley P. Cellet, Elizângela H. Fragal, Guilherme M. Pereira, Francielle P. Garcia, Celso V. Nakamura, Tewodros Asefa, Adley F. Rubira, Rafael Silva
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science