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Synthesis and Characterization of Hydrogels Grown on Surfaces by Atrp

Hariharasudhan D. Chirra and J. Zach Hilt. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, 177 F. Paul Anderson Tower, Lexington, KY 40506

Biocompatible polymer networks with specific structure and orientation have tremendous potential in the biomedical field (e.g. recognition of specific proteins and other biomolecules for diagnostic and therapeutic applications). The control over the growth of these polymer networks on surfaces plays a vital role, since it is the interface between the device and the biological medium/environment. Surface initiated polymerization (SIP) techniques such as atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) were applied for the controlled synthesis of hydrogel systems over various substrates. Micropatterning using soft lithography (XY control) followed by SIP (Z control), and optimization of the process variables for the synthesis of hydrogels (e.g. temperature responsive, molecular imprinted hydrogels) on gold and silicon surfaces were completed. Characterization was done using atomic force microscopy (AFM), fourier transform infrared imaging (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).