A polymer brush is depicted with each chain capable of undergoing a helix-coil transition. In this image, the helical state is favored in the untethered peptide. At high tethering density, some chains are forced to partially unfold and extend away from the surface to alleviate crowding. This results in the appearance of distinct layers in the brush microstructure, with sharp transitions in monomer density and helical content between layers. A theory is presented that predicts the micro- and macroscopic properties of such a brush. See: Kastantin, M.; Tirrell, M. Macromolecules 2011, 44, 49774987. Link.
July 12, 2011