Facile Fabrication of Hierarchically Thermoresponsive Binary Polymer Pattern for Controlled Cell Adhesion

Research paper by Jianwen Hou, Lele Cui, Runhai Chen, Xiaodong Xu, Jiayue Chen, Ligang Yin, Jingchuan Liu, Qiang Shi, Jinghua Yin

Indexed on: 05 Jan '18Published on: 04 Jan '18Published in: Macromolecular Rapid Communications


A versatile platform allowing capture and detection of normal and dysfunctional cells on the same patterned surface is important for accessing the cellular mechanism, developing diagnostic assays, and implementing therapy. Here, an original and effective method for fabricating binary polymer brushes pattern is developed for controlled cell adhesion. The binary polymer brushes pattern, composed of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) and poly[poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate] (POEGMA) chains, is simply obtained via a combination of surface-initiated photopolymerization and surface-activated free radical polymerization. This method is unique in that it does not utilize any protecting groups or procedures of backfilling with immobilized initiator. It is demonstrated that the precise and well-defined binary polymer patterns with high resolution are fabricated using this facile method. PNIPAAm chains capture and release cells by thermoresponsiveness, while POEGMA chains possess high capability to capture dysfunctional cells specifically, inducing a switch of normal red blood cells (RBCs) arrays to hemolytic RBCs arrays on the pattern with temperature. This novel platform composed of binary polymer brush pattern is smart and versatile, which opens up pathways to potential applications as microsensors, biochips, and bioassays.