The hydrophobic monomer, n-butyl methacrylate (BMA) has been incorporated into thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PIPAAm) to lower PIPAAm phase transition temperatures necessary for systematically regulating cell adhesion on and detachment from culture dishes at controlled temperatures. Poly(IPAAm-co-BMA)-grafted dishes were prepared by electron beam irradiation methods, systematically changing BMA content in the feed. Copolymer-grafted surfaces decreased grafted polymer transition temperatures with increasing BMA content as shown by water wettabilities compared to homopolymer PIPAAm-grafted surfaces. Bovine endothelial cells readily adhered and proliferated on copolymer-grafted surfaces above collapse temperature at 37°C, finally reaching confluence. Cell sheet detachment behavior from copolymer-grafted surfaces depended on the culture temperature and BMA content. In conclusion, cell attachment/detachment can be controlled to an arbitrary temperature by varying the content of hydrophobic monomer incorporated into PIPAAm grafted to culture surfaces.
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