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Issue 4, 2018
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Stable star polymer nanolayers and their thermoresponsiveness as a tool for controlled culture and detachment of fibroblast sheets

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Abstract

In this study, we describe novel thermoresponsive star copolymer surfaces used for the first time for the culture of fibroblast sheets, followed by their detachment, controlled by a change in temperature. To date, no star polymers, or their layers, have been used for this purpose. A “grafting to” strategy was applied to obtain poly[oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate] star layers on functionalized solid supports. Atom transfer radical polymerization of oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylates and glycidyl methacrylate initiated with modified poly(arylene oxindole) yielded stars with molar masses up to Mn = 380 000 g mol−1. Stars were attached to a glass substrate via the reaction between the functional epoxy groups of the stars with the amine groups of the functionalized substrate. The thickness of the layer was related to the dimensions of isolated stars in solution, which showed that multilayers were obtained. Above the phase transition temperature, polymer nanolayers were hydrophobic, thus enabling the growth of fibroblasts on their surfaces and the formation of a cell sheet. Decreasing the temperature below the phase transition temperature made the star surfaces hydrophilic. This eliminated the affinity of the surface for cells and led to detachment of the intact fibroblast sheet. These observations have shown for the first time that the star polymer architecture favors the detachment of cell sheets as compared to linear polymer analogues grafted onto supports, thus reducing the time of this process. Knowledge of the influence of the polymer topology on layer properties and cell growth and detachment can aid in the development of polymeric materials for tissue culture applications.

Graphical abstract: Stable star polymer nanolayers and their thermoresponsiveness as a tool for controlled culture and detachment of fibroblast sheets

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Oct 2017, accepted on 18 Dec 2017 and first published on 19 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02748F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018,6, 641-655
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    Stable star polymer nanolayers and their thermoresponsiveness as a tool for controlled culture and detachment of fibroblast sheets

    B. Mendrek, I. Żymełka-Miara, Ł. Sieroń, A. Fus, K. Balin, J. Kubacki, M. Smet, B. Trzebicka, A. L. Sieroń and A. Kowalczuk, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2018, 6, 641
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02748F

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