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Polymers 2010, 2(2), 40-56; doi:10.3390/polym2020040
Article

Synthesis of Environmentally Responsive Polymers by Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization: Generation of Reversible Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces

1,2
Received: 4 January 2010 / Revised: 11 March 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 12 May 2010
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Abstract

Environmentally responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brushes were grafted from the surface of polymer particles or flat surfaces in order to generate reversible hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces. The use of atom transfer radical polymerization was demonstrated for the grafting of polymer brushes as it allows efficient control on the amount of grafted polymer. The polymer particles were generated with or without surfactant in the emulsion polymerization and their surface could be modified with the atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) initiator. The uniform functionalization of the surface with ATRP initiator was responsible for the uniform grafting of polymer brushes. The grafted brushes responded reversibly with changes in temperature indicating that the reversible responsive behavior could be translated to the particle surfaces. The particles were observed to adsorb and desorb protein and virus molecules by changing the temperatures below or higher than 32 °C. The initiator functionalized particles could also be adsorbed on the flat surfaces. The adsorption process also required optimization of the heat treatment conditions to form a uniform layer of the particles on the substrate. The grafted polymer brushes also responded to the changes in temperatures similar to the spherical particles studied through water droplets placed on the flat substrates.
Keywords: atom transfer radical polymerization; poly(N-isopropylacrylamide); grafting; hydrophobic; hydrophilic; reversible; latex particles; flat substrates; microscopy; crosslinking; polystyrene atom transfer radical polymerization; poly(N-isopropylacrylamide); grafting; hydrophobic; hydrophilic; reversible; latex particles; flat substrates; microscopy; crosslinking; polystyrene
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Mittal, V. Synthesis of Environmentally Responsive Polymers by Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization: Generation of Reversible Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces. Polymers 2010, 2, 40-56.

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