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    We present a simple yet versatile method for sculpting ultra-thick, enzyme-generated hyaluronan polymer brushes with light. The patterning mechanism is indirect, driven by reactive oxygen species created by photochemical interactions with the underlying substrate. The reactive oxygen species disrupt the enzyme hyaluronan synthase, which acts as the growth engine and anchor of the end-grafted polymers. Spatial control over the grafting density is achieved through inactivation of the enzyme in an energy density dose-dependent manner, before or after polymerization of the brush. Quantitative variation of the brush height is possible using visible wavelengths and illustrated by the creation of a brush gradient ranging from 0 to 6 μm in height over a length of 56 μm (approximately a 90 nm height increase per micron). Building upon the fundamental insights presented in this study, this work lays the foundation for the flexible and quantitative sculpting of complex three-dimensional landscapes in enzyme-generated hyaluronan brushes.

    Citation

    Jessica L Faubel, Wenbin Wei, Jennifer E Curtis. Sculpting Enzyme-Generated Giant Polymer Brushes. ACS nano. 2021 Mar 23;15(3):4268-4276

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    PMID: 33617223

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