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Surface functionalization by smart binary polymer brushes to tune physiko-chemical characteristics at biointerfaces

Petra Uhlmann 1Nikolay Houbenov 1Sergiy Minko 2Manfred Stamm 1

1. Institute of Polymer Research, Dresden 01069, Germany
2. Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, United States


Polymer brushes consist of an assembly of polymer chains that are attached by one end to the surface with sufficient grafting density. Binary brushes constituted from two incompatible polymers can be used in the form of ultrathin polymeric layers as a versatile tool for surface engineering to tune physico-chemical surface characteristics as wettability, surface charge, chemical composition or morphology, and furthermore to create responsive surface properties1. It is also possible to fix surface structures obtained in this way by (photo)crosslinking of the layers.
Mixed brushes of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes are representing a special case of responding surfaces which are sensitive to changes of the pH value in aqueous environments2.
Examples for the influence of the surface characteristics (charge, hydrophobicity/ hydrophilicity, extent of swelling) of symmetrical mixed polyelectrolyte brushes as well as of additional salt amounts in the protein buffered solution on the substrate anchorage and conformation of model proteins will be presented.

[1] A. Sidorenko, S. Minko, K. Schenk-Meuser, H. Duschner, M. Stamm, Langmuir 1999, 15, 8349
[2] N. Houbenov, S. Minko, M. Stamm, Macromolecules 2003, 36, 5897-5901


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Presentation: oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004, Symposium B, by Petra Uhlmann
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004

Submitted: 2004-04-29 13:16
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55