"Non-Fouling" Oligo(ethylene glycol)-Functionalized Polymer Brushes Synthesized by Surface-Initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization
The synthesis of (EG) n-functionalized polymer brushes of tunable thicknesses in the 5-50 nm range by surface initiated polymerization was discussed. It was shown that these polymer brushes exhibited no detectable adsorption of proteins, and were cell resistant for up to a month under typical cell culture conditions. It was also shown that the synthesis method was compatible with a range of patterning techniques from the nano- to microscale, which enabled the patterning of cells in a biologically relevant milieu over extended period of time. These non-fouling surfaces and topographical structures were found to be useful as model quasi-three-dimensional systems to investigate the response of cells to chemical and topographical cues.