Polymer brush, owing to its precisely controllable nanostructure, has great potential for surface modification in the biomedical field. In this study, we evaluated the bio-inertness of polymer brush, monomer monolayers, and polymer-coated surfaces based on their structures, to identify the most effective bio-inert modification. We focused on two well-known bio-inert materials, 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) and ethylene glycol (EG). The amount of adsorbed proteins on the surface was found to be dependent on the monomer unit density in the case of MPC, whereas this correlation was not observed in the case of EG. Cell adhesion was suppressed on the brush structure of both MPC and EG units, regardless of their density. The brush structure of MPC and EG units showed better anti-protein- and anti-cell-adhesion than monolayers and polymer-coated surfaces. Thus, the steric repulsion was not only important in EG units-based surface, but also in MPC-based surface. In addition, multiple polymer layers formed by MPC-based polymer coating also displayed similar properties.
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