316L stainless steel (316L SS) has been extensively used for making orthopedic, dental and cardiovascular implants. The use of phosphonic acid self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on 316L SS has been previously explored for potential biomedical applications. In this study, we have investigated the long-term stability of methyl (-CH(3)) and carboxylic acid (-COOH)-terminated phosphonic acid SAMs on 316L under physiological conditions. The stability of SAMs on mechanically polished and electropolished 316L SS was also investigated as a part of this study. Well-ordered and uniform -CH(3)- and -COOH-terminated SAMs were coated on mechanically polished and electropolished 316L SS surfaces. The long-term stability of SAMs on 316L SS was investigated for up to 28 days in Tris-buffered saline (TBS) at 37 degrees C using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and contact angle goniometry. A significant amount of phosphonic acid molecules was desorbed from the 316L SS surfaces within 1 to 7 days of TBS immersion followed by a slow desorption of molecules over the remaining days. The -COOH-terminated SAM was found to be more stable than the -CH(3)-terminated SAM on both mechanically and electropolished surfaces. No significant differences in the desorption behavior of SAMs were observed between mechanically and electropolished 316L SS surfaces.
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