Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces


We report an approach to the functionalization of fibers and fiber-based materials that is based on the deposition of reactive azlactone-functionalized polymers and the "reactive" layer-by-layer assembly of azlactone-containing thin films. We demonstrate (i) that the azlactone-functionalized polymer poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone) (PVDMA) can be used to modify the surfaces of a model protein-based fiber (horsehair) and cellulose-based materials (e.g., cotton and paper), and (ii) that fibers functionalized in this manner can be used to support the fabrication of covalently cross-linked and reactive polymer multilayers assembled using PVDMA and poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI). The growth, chemical reactivity, and uniformity of films deposited on these substrates were characterized using fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In addition to the direct functionalization of fibers, we demonstrate that the residual azlactone functionality in PVDMA-treated or film-coated fibers can be exploited to chemically modify the surface chemistry and physicochemical properties of fiber-based materials postfabrication using amine functionalized molecules. For example, we demonstrate that this approach permits control over the surface properties of paper (e.g., absorption of water) by simple postfabrication treatment of film-coated paper with the hydrophobic amine n-decylamine. The azlactone functionality present in these materials provides a platform for the modification of polymer-treated and film-coated fibers with a broad range of other chemical and biological species (e.g., enzymes, peptides, catalysts, etc.). The results of this investigation thus provide a basis for the functionalization of fibers and fiber-based materials (e.g., textile fabrics or nonwoven mats) of potential utility in a broad range of consumer, industrial, and biomedical contexts.


Functional surfaces, Hair, Layer-by-layer, Reactive polymers, Thin films





First Page


Last Page







Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

Included in

Chemistry Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.