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"Plasma penetration into porous materials for biomedical, textile and filtration applications." (PLASMAPOR)
Start date: Jun 1, 2012, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"My group will explore the undeveloped field of penetration of non-thermal plasma into porous structures. Porous materials are an exciting class of materials with a wide range of applications. However, given the narrow dimensions of the porous network, modifying in a homogeneous way an entire porous material is a challenging task.This project is based on the use of non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasmas for an effective internal surface modification of 3D porous structures. To make plasma technology reach this desired level of controlled penetration into porous structures, a far better understanding of the penetration of chemical active species into porous structures is required. Therefore, my project envisages a thorough study of the interactions between a non-thermal plasma and a second phase, the second phase being a porous substrate. Through diagnostics of the process-relevant plasma parameters and a quantitative analysis of the plasma-induced effects, the knowledge on the physics and chemistry of such hybrid plasma systems will be enhanced and, in most cases, newly founded.My group will start exploring this exciting field by focussing on three cornerstone research lines. Firstly, I will develop new plasma reactor concepts enabling effective plasma penetration. Secondly, these newly developed plasma reactors will be employed for the internal surface modification of porous biodegradable polyester scaffolds used in tissue engineering. Thirdly, besides the development of biomedical implants, the possibilities for the design of functional porous textiles and advanced filter materials will also be explored. Realisation of these three cornerstones would result in a major breakthrough in their specific field which makes this proposal inherently a relatively high risk/very high gain proposal.I therefore strongly believe that my research program will open a whole new window of opportunities for porous materials with a large impact on science and society."
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