Functionalization of Polymer Microspheres Using Click Chemistry.

graphical abstract
Breed, D.R.; Thibault, R.; Xie, F.; Wang, Q.; Hawker, C.J.; Pine, D.J.;
25, 4370-4376.

We describe a new method to covalently link a wide variety of molecules to the surface of colloidal polymer microspheres using the Cu(I)-catalyzed azide−alkyne reaction, most commonly known under the class of reactions identified by the term click chemistry. The method is generic and readily applied to a spectrum of colloidal particle systems allowing surfaces to be tailored with virtually any desired functionality. To demonstrate this method, polystyrene microspheres were functionalized with two different polyethylene oxide-based polymers, and changes in hydrodynamic radii after functionalization were measured using dynamic light scattering. Control of surface functional groups was demonstrated by fluorescently labeling the colloidal microspheres using the same Cu-catalyzed azide−alkyne cycloaddition reaction.