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Dual-Functional Biomimetic Materials:  Nonfouling Poly(carboxybetaine) with Active Functional Groups for Protein Immobilization

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journal contribution
posted on 11.12.2006, 00:00 by Zheng Zhang, Shengfu Chen, Shaoyi Jiang
We introduce a dual-functional biocompatible material based on zwitterionic poly(carboxybetaine methacrylate) (polyCBMA), which not only highly resists protein adsorption/cell adhesion, but also has abundant functional groups convenient for the immobilization of biological ligands, such as proteins. The dual-functional properties are unique to carboxybetaine moieties and are not found in other nonfouling moieties such as ethylene glycol, phosphobetaine, and sulfobetaine. The unique properties are demonstrated in this work by grafting a polyCBMA polymer onto a surface or by preparing a polyCBMA-based hydrogel. PolyCBMA brushes with a thickness of 10−15 nm were grafted on a gold surface using the surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization method. Protein adsorption was analyzed using a surface plasmon resonance sensor. The surface grafted with polyCBMA very largely prevented the nonspecific adsorption of three test proteins, that is, fibrinogen, lysozyme, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The immobilization of anti-hCG on the surface resulted in the specific binding of hCG while maintaining a high resistance to nonspecific protein adsorption. Transparent polyCBMA-based hydrogel disks were decorated with immobilized fibronectin. Aortic endothelial cells did not bind to the polyCBMA controls, but appeared to adhere well and spread on the fibronectin-modified surface. With their dual functionality and biomimetic nature, polyCBMA-based materials are very promising for their applications in medical diagnostics, biomaterials/tissue engineering, and drug delivery.