J. Biomater Sci. Polymer Edn, 13, No. 8, (2002) 919 - 937
Towards practical soft X-ray spectromicroscopy of biomaterials
A. P. HITCHCOCK*, C. MORIN, Y. M. HENG(+), R. M. CORNELIUS and J. L. BRASH
Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada, L8S 4M1
Received 21 December 2001; accepted 11 April 2002
Abstract—Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) is being developed as a new tool to study the surface chemical morphology and biointeractions of candidate biomaterials with emphasis on blood compatible polymers. STXM is a synchrotron based technique which provides quantitative chemical mapping at a spatial resolution of 50 nm. Chemical speciation is provided by the near edge X-ray absorption spectral (NEXAFS) signal. We show that STXM can detect proteins on soft X-ray transparent polymer thin films with monolayer sensitivity. Of great significance is the fact that measurements can be made in situ, i.e. in the presence of an overlayer of the protein solution. The strengths, limitations and future potential of STXM for studies of biomaterials are discussed.
Keywords: biomaterials, soft X-ray scanning transmission microscopy; NEXAFS.
+present address: The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON Canada M5G 1X8.