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Manipulating Cell Adhesion on Gradient Poly(2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate)-Grafted Surfaces



Ying Mei, Tao Wu, Chang Xu, K J. Langenbach, John T. Elliott, B D. Vogt, Kathryn L. Beers, Eric J. Amis, N Washburn


In this study, a simple and versatile method was developed to prepare the low grafting density initaitor gradient, which was combined with surface initiated atom transfer radical polymerizations (ATRP) to produce a well defined poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (HEMA) gradient substrate. A smooth variation in film thickness was measured across the gradient, range from 20 to 100A, but we observed a non-monotonic variation in water contact angle. We propose that the polymer film exhibits a transition from mushroom to brush as a function of graft density, which result in this unusual wetting behavior. It was hyposized that the low grafting-density region of the gradient could be made adhesive to cells by adsorbing adhesion proteins and cell adhesion could be tuned by the density of polymer grafts. Fibroblasts were seeded on gradients pre-coated with fibronectin to test cellular responses to this novel substrate, but it was found that cell adhesion did not follow the expected trend, suggesting a novel interplay between the molecular structure of the film and the display of adsorbed adhesion proteins.
Society for Biomaterials


carbon nanotubes, phase diagram, polymer composites, processing


Mei, Y. , Wu, T. , Xu, C. , Langenbach, K. , Elliott, J. , Vogt, B. , Beers, K. , Amis, E. and Washburn, N. (2005), Manipulating Cell Adhesion on Gradient Poly(2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate)-Grafted Surfaces, Society for Biomaterials (Accessed March 1, 2024)
Created April 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017