In this study photoinduced cation generation, based on the photochemical properties of malachite green (MG), was used for the surface design and in vitro photochemical control of cell adhesion and proliferation. The MG-derivatized surface was prepared by coating a photoreactive polymer as a substrate onto a poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) sheet. The photoreactive polymer was radical copolymer of styrene with the MG-derivatized monomer diphenyl(4-vinylphenyl)methane leucohydroxide (degree of substitution of MG unit: 12.4 mol%). Water contact angle measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed high hydrophobicity and homogeneous distribution of the MG groups on the outermost surface of the coated film, respectively. When the coated film was exposed to ultraviolet light (UV) irradiation at wavelengths of 290–410 nm, a time-dependent color change of the film was observed from pale yellow, before irradiation, to green. These results indicated generation of cations on the film surface by photochemical cation generation of the MG groups, which was quantitatively characterized by force versus distance curves measurements in atomic force microscopic (AFM) observation using a carboxylated AFM tip. The seeding and culture of endothelial cells showed a marked reduction in adhesion on the nonirradiated coated film surface, whereas the UV-irradiated surface promoted cell adhesion and proliferation except for incubation in serum-free medium, which was similar to commercial tissue culture PET sheet. These observations may be due to adsorption of cell adhesive proteins, typified by fibronectin, in serum-containing medium onto the cationized photoreactive copolymer surface by electrostatic interactions.
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Vol. 77 • No. 5