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Type: Journal article
Title: Surface grafting of electrospun fibers using ATRP and RAFT for the control of biointerfacial interactions
Author: Ameringer, T.
Ercole, F.
Tsang, K.M.
Coad, B.R.
Hou, X.
Rodda, A.
Nisbet, D.R.
Thissen, H.
Evans, R.A.
Meagher, L.
Forsythe, J.S.
Citation: Biointerphases: an open access journal for the biomaterials interface community, 2013; 8(1):16-1-16-11
Publisher: AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces and Processing
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1934-8630
Statement of
Thomas Ameringer, Francesca Ercole, Kelly M Tsang, Bryan R Coad, Xueliang Hou, Andrew Rodda, David R Nisbet, Helmut Thissen, Richard A Evans, Laurence Meagher and John S Forsythe
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The ability to present signalling molecules within a low fouling 3D environment that mimics the extracellular matrix is an important goal for a range of biomedical applications, both in vitro and in vivo. Cell responses can be triggered by non-specific protein interactions occurring on the surface of a biomaterial, which is an undesirable process when studying specific receptor-ligand interactions. It is therefore useful to present specific ligands of interest to cell surface receptors in a 3D environment that minimizes non-specific interactions with biomolecules, such as proteins. METHOD: In this study, surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) of poly(ethylene glycol)-based monomers was carried out from the surface of electrospun fibers composed of a styrene/vinylbenzyl chloride copolymer. Surface initiated radical addition-fragmentation chain transfer (SI-RAFT) polymerisation was also carried out to generate bottle brush copolymer coatings consisting of poly(acrylic acid) and poly(acrylamide). These were grown from surface trithiocarbonate groups generated from the chloromethyl styrene moieties existing in the original synthesised polymer. XPS was used to characterise the surface composition of the fibers after grafting and after coupling with fluorine functional XPS labels. RESULTS: Bottle brush type coatings were able to be produced by ATRP which consisted of poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate and a terminal alkyne-functionalised monomer. The ATRP coatings showed reduced non-specific protein adsorption, as a result of effective PEG incorporation and pendant alkynes groups existing as part of the brushes allowed for further conjugation of via azide-alkyne Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition. In the case of RAFT, carboxylic acid moieties were effectively coupled to an amine label via amide bond formation. In each case XPS analysis demonstrated that covalent immobilisation had effectively taken place. CONCLUSION: Overall, the studies presented an effective platform for the preparation of 3D scaffolds which contain effective conjugation sites for attachment of specific bioactive signals of interest, as well as actively reducing non-specific protein interactions.
Keywords: Electrospun fibers; Polymer brushes; Surface-initiated polymerisation; Surface fouling; Surface immobilisation
Rights: © 2013 Ameringer et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1186/1559-4106-8-16
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