Stable Poly(methacrylic acid) Brush Decorated Silica Nano-Particles by ARGET ATRP for Bioconjugation

Marcello Iacono, Dublin City University
Andreas Heise, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

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The synthesis of polymer brush decorated silica nano-particles is demonstrated by activator regeneration by electron transfer atom transfer radical polymerization (ARGET ATRP) grafting of poly(tert-butyl methacrylate). ATRP initiator decorated silica nano-particles were obtained using a novel trimethylsiloxane derivatised ATRP initiator obtained by click chemistry. Comparison of de-grafted polymers with polymer obtained from a sacrificial initiator demonstrated good agreement up to 55% monomer conversion. Subsequent mild deprotection of the tert-butyl ester groups using phosphoric acid yielded highly colloidal and pH stable hydrophilic nano-particles comprising approximately 50% methacrylic acid groups. The successful bio-conjugation was achieved by immobilization of Horseradish Peroxidase to the polymer brush decorated nano-particles and the enzyme activity demonstrated in a conversion of o-phenylene diamine dihydrochloride assay.