Surface density variation within cyclic polymer brushes reveals topology effects on their nanotribological and biopassive properties

Mohammad Divandari, Lucca Trachsel, Wenqing Yan, Jan Georg Rosenboom, Nicholas D. Spencer, Marcy Zenobi-Wong, Giulia Morgese, Shivaprakash N. Ramakrishna, Edmondo M. Benetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While topology effects by cyclic polymers in solution and melts are well-known, their translation into the interfacial properties of polymer "brushes" provides new opportunities to impart enhanced surface lubricity and biopassivity to inorganic surfaces, above and beyond that expected for linear analogues of identical composition. The impact of polymer topology on the nanotribological and protein-resistance properties of polymer brushes is revealed by studying linear and cyclic poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) (PEOXA) grafts presenting a broad range of surface densities and while shearing them alternatively against an identical brush or a bare inorganic surface. The intramolecular constraints introduced by the cyclization provide a valuable increment in both steric stabilization and load-bearing capacity for cyclic brushes. Moreover, the intrinsic absence of chain ends within cyclic adsorbates hinders interpenetration between opposing brushes, as they are slid over each other, leading to a reduction in the friction coefficient (μ) at higher pressures, a phenomenon not observed for linear grafts. The application of cyclic polymers for the modification of inorganic surfaces generates films that outperform both the nanotribological and biopassive properties of linear brushes, significantly expanding the design possibilities for synthetic biointerfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1460
Number of pages6
JournalACS Macro Letters
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Surface density variation within cyclic polymer brushes reveals topology effects on their nanotribological and biopassive properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this