Date of this Version
Biointerphases, Vol. 11, No. 1, March 2016
Temperature-responsive oxazoline-based polymer brushes have gained increased attention as biocompatible surfaces. In aqueous environment, they can be tuned between hydrophilic and hydrophobic behavior triggered by a temperature stimulus. This transition is connected with changes in molecule–solvent interactions and results in a switching of the brushes between swollen and collapsed states. This work studies the temperature-dependent interactions between poly(2-oxazoline) brushes and water. In detail, thermoresponsive poly(2-cyclopropyl-2-oxazoline), nonresponsive hydrophilic poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline), as well as a copolymer of the two were investigated with in situinfrared ellipsometry. Focus was put on interactions of the brushes’ carbonyl groups with water molecules. Different polymer–water interactions could be observed and assigned to hydrogen bonding between C=O groups and water molecules. The switching behavior of the brushes in the range of 20–45°C was identified by frequency shifts and intensity changes of the amide I band.