Controlled Surface Initiated Polymerization of N-Isopropylacrylamide from Polycaprolactone Substrates for Regulating Cell Attachment and Detachment

Authors

  • Michel Klein Gunnewiek,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, MESA+Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Andrea Di Luca,

    1. Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Xiaofeng Sui,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, MESA+Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Clemens A. van Blitterswijk,

    1. Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Lorenzo Moroni,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
    • Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • G. Julius Vancso

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, MESA+Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
    • Department of Materials Science and Technology of Polymers, MESA+Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
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Abstract

Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) substrates were modified with thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) brushes to direct and control cellular attachment and detachment. Prior to brush growth, the surface of PCL was activated by a diamine to allow for initiator coupling. Infrared spectra taken before and after cell culturing demonstrated the covalently attached nature of the PNIPAM brushes. PCL is a biocompatible polymer and to prove that the modifications described above did not change this characteristic property, a cell attachment/detachment study was carried out. The modified substrates showed a lower cell attachment when compared to PCL alone and to PCL films modified with the initiator. The possibility to detach the cells in the form of a sheet was proved using PNIPAM-modified PCL films by lowering the temperature to 25 °C. No relevant detachment was shown by the unmodified or by the initiator modified surfaces. This confirmed that the detachment was temperature dependent and not connected to other factors such as polymer swelling. These functionalized polymeric films can find applications as smart cell culture systems in regenerative medicine applications.

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