There is a rising interest in the development of efficient ways to synthesize novel polymeric materials possessing functional surfaces due to the wide range of possible applications that they have, especially in the field of biotechnology. Surface active monomers (often referred to as “surfmers”) are polymerizable surfactants that may carry a functional group, representing an improved path to �the functionalization of polymeric particles. Due to the surface-active properties, these molecules are largely on the particle surface and, during surfactant-based emulsion polymerization processes, the surfmers are directly incorporated into the particle's polymeric backbone. Thus, increasing the particle's stability and allowing for controlled display of the functional groups on the surface of the particles. Therefore, this particle configuration is highly suitable for conjugation with biomolecules.
This work aims to synthesize two surfmer molecules and develop polymer particles using these surfmers as comonomers in a UV-initiated miniemulsion polymerization system, in order to obtain particles with a reactive surface functionality, with the objective to ensure that it reacts with biomolecules (Fig. 2). A wide range of biomolecules can be immobilized and, among them, viruses have turned out to be molecules of great interest. The configured particles with customized functional surfaces are promising candidates for multifunctional platforms suitable for biomedical applications.