All the results presented in this chapter rationalize the use of nanoporous platforms functionalized with PMAA brushes for controlled gating applications, for example as electrochemical (bio)sensors or nanoscale valves.
In Chapter 6, a description is provided discussing functionalization of silicon-based nanopore array chips functionalized with PMAA brush, which were used as supports for pore-spanning lipid bilayers.
As part of the design of the modification of nanoporous platforms with polymer brushes, PMAA brushes were grafted from flat silicon surfaces using surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP).
Chapter 4 describes growth kinetics of the p H-responsive polymer layers were investigated in mixtures of water and methanol with different ratios.
Besides for the support of the lipid bilayer, the PMAA chains were functionalized with nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) for immobilization of His-tagged membrane proteins.
The localization of the membrane proteins near the pore edges and their integration in the pore-spanning lipid bilayer was imaged by fluorescence microscopy.
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The p H-induced swelling and collapse of the brush were characterized by in situ ellipsometry, and showed a fast and reversible switching of the PMAA layers with swelling factors that increased by decreasing the methanol content of the atom transfer radical polymerization mixture.
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra recorded in titration experiments indicated that the effective p Ka of the PMAA films were shifted to the value of 6.5 ± 0.2 from the bulk p Ka value of PMAA.