In addition to POEGMA polymer brushes, we are exploring zwitterionic polymer brushes as a substrate for in vitro diagnostics, as they are reported to exhibit exceptional resistance to the nonspecific adsorption of proteins and adherence of cells. Although zwitterionic polymer brush-coated surfaces have been employed in immunoassays by the covalent conjugation of capture reagents to surfaces, this strategy has several key limitations, such as the need to activate the surface for conjugation, followed by deactivation of the reactive moieties prior to use. We recently developed and characterized a series of new hybrid zwitterionic–cationic polymer brush coatings with tunable surface wettability that allows for non-covalent attachment of antibodies. We also showed that a point-of-care microarray immunoassay fabricated on these hybrid brushes has an analytical sensitivity and dynamic range similar to an immunoassay fabricated on POEGMA brushes.
CM Fontes, RK Achar, , DY Joh, I Ozer, S Bhattacharjee, A Hucknall, and A Chilkoti, Engineering the surface properties of a zwitterionic polymer brush to enable the simple fabrication of inkjet-printed point-of-care immunoassays, Langmuir , Article ASAP.