Surface modification of electrospun cellulose acetate nanofibers via RAFT polymerization for DNA adsorption
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We report on a facile and robust method by which surface of electrospun cellulose acetate (CA) nanofibers can be chemically modied with cationic polymer brushes for DNA adsorption. The surface of CA nanofibers was functionalized by growing poly[(ar-vinylbenzyl)trimethylammonium chloride)] [poly(VBTAC)] brushes through a multi-step chemical sequence that ensures retention of mechanically robust nanofibers. Initially, the surface of the CA nanofibers was modified with RAFT chain transfer agent. Poly(VBTAC) brushes were then prepared via RAFT-mediated polymerization from the nanofiber surface. DNA adsorption capacity of CA nanofibrous web surface functionalized with cationic poly(VBTAC) brushes was demonstrated. The reusability of these webs was investigated by measuring the adsorption capacity for target DNA in a cyclic manner. In brief, CA nanofibers surface-modified with cationic polymer brushes can be suitable as membrane materials for filtration, purification, and/or separation processes for DNA.