Volume 95 Issue 6 | p. 9 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 6, 2017

Method grows polymers on cell surface without damaging the cell

Controlled radical polymerization is gentle enough to use with mammalian cells
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: polymers, coatings, cells, controlled radical polymerization

Modifying the surface of cells with synthetic polymers offers a strategy for manipulating cellular behavior. Usually researchers make such modifications by attaching premade polymers to functional groups on the cell surface, but that “grafting-to” approach isn’t very efficient. An alternative approach involves “grafting from,” in which a polymer grows from an initiator on the cell surface. But this has been hard to do in ways that keep the cells—especially mammalian cells—alive. H. . . .

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