Thermoresponsive, cationic, copolymer brushes poly(N-isopropylacrylamide(IPAAm)-co-N,N-dimethylaminopropylacrylamide-co-N-tert-butylacrylamide(tBAAm)) and poly(IPAAm-co-3-acrylamidopropyl trimethylammonium chloride-co-tBAAm) were prepared on glass substrates through surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization. Prepared copolymer brushes were investigated as thermally modulated cell separation materials. Densely packed cationic copolymer brushes were formed on the glass substrates, and the positive charge density was modulated by controlling the composition of cationic moieties and species. During observation of cell adhesion and detachment properties on copolymer brushes, human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hbmMSC) exhibited thermally modulated cell adhesion and detachment, while other bone-marrow-derived cells did not adhere. Using these properties, hbmMSC could be purified from mixtures of human bone-marrow-derived cells simply by changing the external temperature. Therefore, the prepared cationic copolymer brush is useful for separation of hbmMSC.
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