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Issue 12, 2012
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Generation of functional PET microfibers through surface-initiated polymerization

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Abstract

In this study, we report on a facile and robust method by which poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) surfaces can be chemically modified with functional polymer brushes while avoiding chemical degradation. The surface of electrospun PET microfibers has been functionalized by growing poly(2-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) and poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) brushes through a multi-step chemical sequence that ensures retention of mechanically robust microfibers. Polymer brushes are grown via “grafting from” atom-transfer radical polymerization after activation of the PET surface with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane. Spectroscopic analyses confirm the expected reactions at each reaction step, as well as the ultimate growth of brushes on the PET microfibers. Post-polymerization modification reactions have likewise been conducted to further functionalize the brushes and impart surface properties of biomedical interest on the PET microfibers. Antibacterial activity and protein resistance of PET microfibers functionalized with PDMAEMA and PHEMA brushes, respectively, are demonstrated, thereby making these surface-modified PET microfibers suitable for filtration media, tissue scaffolds, delivery vehicles, and sensors requiring mechanically robust support media.

Graphical abstract: Generation of functional PET microfibers through surface-initiated polymerization

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Nov 2011, accepted on 02 Feb 2012 and first published on 15 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2JM16017J
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2012,22, 5855-5864
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    Generation of functional PET microfibers through surface-initiated polymerization

    A. E. Özçam, K. E. Roskov, R. J. Spontak and J. Genzer, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 5855
    DOI: 10.1039/C2JM16017J

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