This review examines the application of polymer brush–modified flat surfaces, membranes, and beads for protein immobilization and isolation. Modification of porous substrates with brushes yields membranes that selectively bind tagged proteins to give 99% pure protein at capacities as high as 100 mg of protein per cubic centimeter of membrane. Moreover, enrichment of phosphopeptides on brush-modified matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) plates allows detection and characterization of femtomole levels of phosphopeptides by MALDI mass spectrometry. Because swollen hydrophilic brushes can resist nonspecific protein adsorption while immobilizing a high density of proteins, they are attractive as substrates for protein microarrays. This review highlights the advantages of polymer brush–modified surfaces over self-assembled monolayers and identifies some research needs in this area.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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