PEG Molecular Net-Cloth Grafted on Polymeric Substrates and Its Bio-Merits

We report a non-swelling ‘‘PEG molecular net-cloth’’ on a solid surface, fabricated using a novel ‘‘visible light induced surface controlled graft cross-linking polymerization’’ technique

Changwen Zhao


Scholarcy highlights

  • Polymer brushes and hydrogels are sensitive to the environment, which can cause uncontrolled variations on their performance
  • We show that 1) the 3D-network structure of the net-cloth can be precisely modulated and its thickness controlled; 2) the PEG net-cloth has excellent resistance to non-specific protein adsorption and cell adhesion; 3) the mild polymerization conditions provided an ideal tool for in situ encapsulation of delicate biomolecules such as enzymes; 4) the successive grafting of reactive three-dimensional patterns on the PEG net-cloth enables the creation of protein microarrays with high signal to noise ratio
  • Reported methods for fabricating cross-linked networks on various substrates mostly utilize conventional free radical polymerization which is characterized by two limitations due to their uncontrollable polymerization mechanism: one is the production of heterogeneous network structures, the second is defective polymer layers or layers with arbitrary thickness
  • With poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate as bifunctional monomer and LDPE as model of substrates at room temperature, we provide an ideal solution to fabricate a dense ‘‘PEG molecular net-cloth’’ on polymeric substrates without swelling. This is achieved using a novel bottom-up strategy of visible light induced surface controlled graft cross-linking polymerization this molecular net-cloth is characterized by a uniform mesh size, non-swelling and even/ controllable thickness, and could be fabricated onto any substrate containing C-H groups; 2) this strategy is suitable for in situ encapsulation of active biomolecules like enzymes within the molecular net-cloth, and 3) it displays excellent surface anti-fouling properties and retains dormant groups on its surface, making it facile to fabricate protein chips or microarrays with high immobilization density on this anti-fouling background
  • As a proof-of-concept, we evaluated this with a dual enzyme system of horseradish peroxidase and glucose oxidase, which have been well established for the detection of glucose concentration
  • By a dye-complexation method, we found that more than 58% of the enzymes were immobilized, which corresponded to an immobilization density of 8.2 6 2.1 mg/cm, indicating the VSCGCP occurred successfully and was able to entrap enzymes in situ
  • Due to the universal applicability of this reaction to any surface containing C-H groups, this protocol could be readily adapted to other plastics or inorganic substrates without requiring complex pretreatment procedures

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