Applications of functional polymer brushes for nanoparticle uptake and prevention of protein adsorption

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Title: Applications of functional polymer brushes for nanoparticle uptake and prevention of protein adsorption
Author: Arifuzzaman, Shafi Mahmud
Advisors: Dr. Jan Genzer, Committee Member
Dr. Saad Khan, Committee Member
Dr. Orlin D. Velev, Committee Member
Dr. Orlando Rojas, Committee Member
Abstract: The central theme of this Ph.D. dissertation is to develop novel multifunctional polymer coatings for understanding partition of proteins and nanoparticles on polymers grafted to flat surfaces (so-called brushes). Systematic investigation of the adsorption phenomena is accomplished by utilizing surface-anchored assemblies comprising grafted polymers with variation in physical properties (i.e., length or/and grafting density) and chemical functionality. The chemical composition of the brush is tailored by either “chemical coloring†of a parent homopolymer brush with selective chemical moieties or by sequential growth of two chemically dissimilar polymer blocks. We present preparation of two types of tailor-made, surface-grafted copolymers: 1) those composed of hydrophilic and hydrophobic blocks (so-called amphiphilic polymer brushes), and 2) those comprising of anionic and cationic polymer segments (so-called polyampholyte brushes). We describe the organization of functionality in the grafted polymer brushes and the partitioning of proteins and nanoparticles using a battery of complementary analytical probes. Specifically, we address how varying the molecular weight, grafting density, and chemical composition of the brush affects adsorbtion and desorbtion of model proteins and gold nanoparticles. Our observations indicate densely-populated responsive amphiphilic polymers are very efficient in suppressing protein adsorption. In addition, we have established that the length of poly(ethylene glycol) spacers attached to a parent homopolymer brush is a key factor governing uptake of gold nanoparticles. Both grafting density and molecular weight of the coating are important in controlling the kinetics and thermodynamics of protein adsorption on surfaces. Our findings and methodologies can lead to the development of next generation environmentally friendly antifouling surfaces and will find application in medical devices, antifouling coatings and anti reflection finishes.
Date: 2010-04-21
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Chemical Engineering

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