A substrate-independent method for surface grafting polymer layers by atom transfer radical polymerization: Reduction of protein adsorption

Bryan Robert Coad, Yi Lu, Laurence Meagher

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A general method for producing low-fouling biomaterials on any surface by surface-initiated grafting of polymer brushes is presented. Our procedure uses radiofrequency glow discharge thin film deposition followed by macro-initiator coupling and then surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) to prepare neutral polymer brushes on planar substrates. Coatings were produced on substrates with variable interfacial composition and mechanical properties such as hard inorganic/metal substrates (silicon and gold) or flexible (perfluorinated poly(ethylene-co-propylene) film) and rigid (microtitre plates) polymeric materials. First, surfaces were functionalized via deposition of an allylamine plasma polymer thin film followed by covalent coupling of a macro-initiator composed partly of ATRP initiator groups. Successful grafting of a hydrophilic polymer layer was achieved by SI-ATRP of N,N - dimethylacrylamide in aqueous media at room temperature. We exemplified how this method could be used to create surface coatings with significantly reduced protein adsorption on different material substrates. Protein binding experiments using labelled human serum albumin on grafted materials resulted in quantitative evidence for low-fouling compared to control surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608 - 618
Number of pages11
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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