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Langmuir. 2005 Nov 8;21(23):10717-23.

Novel sequence for generating glycopolymer tethered on a membrane surface.

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  • 1Institute of Polymer Science, and Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, PR China.


Cell surface carbohydrates, usually binding with other biomacromolecules (such as lipids and proteins), are involved in numerous biological functions, including cellular recognition, adhesion, cell growth regulation, and inflammation. Synthetic carbohydrate-based polymers, so-called glycopolymers, are emerging as important well-defined tools for investigating carbohydrate-based biological processes and for simulating various functions of carbohydrates. In this study, a novel two-step sequence for the generation of a glycopolymer layer tethered on a polypropylene microporous membrane is described. First, a UV-induced graft polymerization of 2-aminoethyl methacrylate hydrochloride (AEMA) was carried out on the membrane to generate an amino-functionalized surface, and the effects of polymerization factors (monomer/initiator concentration and UV irradiation time) on the grafting density were studied. Second, sugar moieties were bound with the grafted functional layer to form glycopolymer by the reaction between the amino groups on the membrane surface and carbohydrate lactones. Chemical analysis by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy combined with surface morphology observation by scanning electron microscopy confirmed the graft polymerization of AEMA and the formation of glycopolymer. The decreases of water contact angle and protein adsorption on the membrane revealed the enhancement of hydrophilicity and protein resistance due to the typical characteristics of the glycopolymer tethered on the surface. These results indicated that the novel sequence reported in this work is a facile process to form glycopolymer-modified surfaces.

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