In the FAST project, challenges had to be resolved not only in terms of technology but also as regards materials science and biology. The task of the Fraunhofer IST was to develop plasma processes for coatings on the scaffolds that:
As a result of our expertise in coating and process development, we were able to draw on existing experience, in particular for the selection of suitable coating formers for the control of cell adhesion. Our knowledge of plasma chemistry was utilized in order to make adjustments to the plasma system and its control. The extensive analytical equipment and our expertise in the analysis of chemically reactive surfaces made a decisive contribution towards the development of suitable plasma processes within the framework of the project.
The plasma pretreatment and coating of the scaffolds significantly improved the cell distribution and initial cellular processes. The application of plasma techniques in additive-manufacturing processes for biological and medical applications has therefore been successfully demonstrated. Currently, the IST is working on miniaturization of the plasma sources for improved integration capability.