Photoconjugation of temperature- and pH-responsive polymer with silica nanoparticles for separation and enrichment of bacteria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A new photoconjugation approach was developed to prepare nanoparticle-supported boronic acid polymer for effective separation and enrichment of bacteria. The photo-activated polymer immobilization was demonstrated by coupling an azide-modified copolymer of N-isopropylacrylamide and glycidyl methacrylate to a perfluorophenyl azide-modified silica surface. The thermoresponsive polymer was synthesized using reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization followed by conversion of the pendant epoxides into azide groups. The perfluorophenyl azide-modified silica nanoparticles were synthesized by an amidation reaction between amino-functionalized silica and pentafluorobenzoyl chloride, and a subsequent treatment with sodium azide. Bacteria-capturing boronic acid was conjugated to the silica-supported polymer chains via Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) click reaction. The particle size, morphology and organic content of the composite nanoparticles were characterized systematically. The capability of the nanocomposite to bind Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria was investigated. The nanocomposite exhibited high binding capacities for E. coli (13.4 × 107 CFU/mg) and S. epidermidis (7.66 × 107 CFU/mg) in phosphate buffered saline. The new photoconjugation strategy enables fast and straightforward grafting of functional polymers on surface, which opens many new opportunities for designing functional materials for bioseparation and biosensing.


External organisations
  • Ocean University of China
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Polymer Chemistry


  • Bacteria, Bioseparation, Boronate affinity, Perfluorophenyl azide, Photoconjugation, Polymer, Reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization
Original languageEnglish
Article number111433
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch