(543e) Effect of Molecular Structure and Crosslink Density of Surface-Anchored Poly(N?alkylacrylamide) Hydrogels on Adsorption of Fibrinogen
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 1:45pm to 2:00pm
We describe a simple approach to generate surface- attached biocompatible hydrogels with tunable cross-link density and employ them to study the effect of gel structure on protein adsorption. Using free-radical polymerization, we synthesize a series of random copolymers comprising N-alkylacrylamide and the photoactive curing agent Methacryloyl-oxy-benzophenone (MABP) of mole fractions ranging from 2.5 to 10%. We deposit a thin film of the precursor copolymer (â¼150 nm) on a silicon or glass substrate, which is precoated with monolayers of benzophenoneâsilane, then cross-link it through UV irradiation at 365 nm (dose â 6â10 J/cm2) to generate surface-attached networks. A systematic investigation of the network properties such as gel fraction, cross-link density, and swelling ratio reveals that gels with higher MABP content (â¥5%) and longer alkyl chain produce densely cross-linked hydrophobic networks with low or no swelling in an aqueous medium. We study the adsorption of fibrinogen (Fg) on such hydrogel substrates and establish that the amount of adsorbed Fg depends on the degree of cross-linking, hydrophobicity and the swelling capacity of the networks. Specifically, although Fg adsorbs heavily on denser networks, loosely bound gels that swell in aqueous medium repel proteins. We attribute the latter behavior to entropic shielding and size-exclusion factors.