By means of gas phase processes thin layers (monolayers up to several hundred nanometer thick) can be deposited on surfaces without changing the volume characteristics of the basic material.
The physical-chemical properties of the surfaces such as the surface tension, the roughness, the dynamic wetting behavior or the adhesion characteristics toward proteins or cells can be modified by changing the process parameters. For example, amino or carboxyl functions can be specifically generated on surfaces that, on the one hand, directly influence the interaction with cells or are used for wet chemical functionalization with biomolecules.
Plasma processes also create thin swellable release layers that can release active substances (e.g. antibiotics on implants).