Temperature-responsive glycopolymer brushes were designed to investigate the effects of grafting architectures of the copolymers on the selective adhesion and collection of hypatocytes. Homo, random and block sequences of N-isopropylacrylamide and 2-lactobionamidoethyl methacrylate were grafted on glass substrates via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization. The galactose/lactose-specific lectin RCA120 and HepG2 cells were used to test for specific recognition of the polymer brushes containing galactose residues over the lower critical solution temperatures (LCSTs). RCA 120 showed a specific binding to the brush surfaces at 37 °C. These brush surfaces also facilitated the adhesion of HepG2 cells at 37 °C under nonserum conditions, whereas no adhesion was observed for NIH-3T3 fibroblasts. When the temperature was decreased to 25 °C, almost all the HepG2 cells detached from the block copolymer brush, whereas the random copolymer brush did not release the cells. The difference in releasing kinetics of cells from the surfaces with different grafting architectures can be explained by the correlated effects of significant changes in LCST, mobility, hydrophilicity and mechanical properties of the grafted polymer chains. These findings are important for designing 'on-off' cell capture/release substrates for various biomedical applications such as selective cell separation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas