Photopatternable substrate-independent poly(glycidyl methacrylate-ran-2-(acryloyloxy) ethyl 2-methylacrylate) polymer films for immobilization of biomolecules



We report the synthesis and characterization of a photocrosslinkable copolymer containing reactive epoxy groups for binding biomolecules. The epoxide-containing copolymer poly(glycidyl methacrylate-ran-2-(acryloyloxy) ethyl 2-methylacrylate) offers distinct advantages such as ease of application to various substrates, enhanced stability of the bound oligonucleotide, low autofluorescence, and the ability to be photopatterned allowing localization of the linkers. The copolymer uses pendant acryloyl groups to control the crosslinking without sacrificing the epoxide groups. The films were characterized using ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy. The films on glass, silicon wafer, and stainless steel showed no appreciable degradation in water, tetrahydrofuran, and acetone for ∼4 months. The surface topography for a given thickness of crosslinked film was dictated by the deposition conditions. A 16mer oligonucleotide was immobilized on the thin films. A linear relationship between the film thickness and amount of oligonucleotide immobilized was observed with a maximum signal-to-background ratio (S/B) of 225 for a 60-nm-thick film, a value 50% higher than the S/B for an epoxide monolayer. The crosslinked films maintained a high fluorescence signal following long aqueous washing which is appealing for biological microarrays, immobilizing proteins, and study of slow differentiating cells where stability of the scaffold is relevant. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 46: 5826–5838, 2008