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Langmuir. 2007 Jun 5;23(12):6684-90. Epub 2007 May 11.

Construction of a comb-like glycosylated membrane surface by a combination of UV-induced graft polymerization and surface-initiated ATRP.

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  • 1Institute of Polymer Science, Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Synthesis and Functionalization Ministry of Education, and State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, PR China.


Carbohydrate residues are found on the extracellular side of the cell membrane. They form a protective coating on the outer surface of the cell and are involved in intercellular recognition. 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 work, the surface of a polypropylene microporous membrane (PPMM) was modified with comb-like glycopolymer brushes by a combination of UV-induced graft polymerization and surface-initiated atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) was first grafted to the PPMM surface under UV irradiation in the presence of benzophenone and ferric chloride. ATRP initiator was then coupled to the hydroxyl groups of poly(HEMA) brushes. Surface-initiated ATRP of a glycomonomer, D-gluconamidoethyl methacrylate, was followed at ambient temperature in aqueous solvent. Water had a significant acceleration effect on the ATRP process; however, loss of control over the polymerization process was also observed. The addition of CuBr2 to the ATRP system largely increased the controllability at the cost of the polymerization rate. The grafting of HEMA, the coupling of ATRP initiator to the hydroxyl groups, and the surface-initiated ATRP were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

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