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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 7, pp. 1347-1355

Dissolving biomolecules and modifying biomedical implants with supercritical carbon dioxide

Paul B. Webb, Patricia C. Marr, Andrew J. Parsons, Harmanjit S. Gidda and Steven M. Howdle*

School of Chemistry, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom

Abstract: We describe two methodologies for dissolving ionic/polar species in scCO2. Both lead to a broadening of the range of applications for scCO2. Fluorinated surfactants may be used to prepare water in carbon dioxide microemulsions to allow solubilization of ionic and biological species. We outline also the preparation of scCO2 soluble metal precursors that can be impregnated efficiently into polymeric substrates. Further processing by heat or UV light leads to metallic particles distributed throughout a polymer substrate. The clean synthesis of such composites can be applied to the development of improved medical implants.