A variety of biomedical applications requires tailored membranes; fabrication through a mix-and-match approach is simple and desired. Polymers based on supramolecular bis-urea (BU) moieties are capable of modular integration through directed non-covalent stacking. Here, it is proposed that non-cell adhesive properties can be introduced in polycaprolactone-BU-based membranes by the addition of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-BU during immersion precipitation membrane fabrication, while unmodified PEG is not retained in the membrane. PEG-BU addition results in denser membranes with a similar pore size compared to pristine membranes, while PEG addition induces defect formation. Infrared spectroscopy and surface hydrophobicity measurements indicate that PEG-BU is retained during membrane processing. Additionally, PEG-BU incorporation successfully leads to poor cell adhesive surfaces. No evidence is observed to indicate PEG retention. The results obtained indicate that the BU system enables intimate mixing of BU-modified polymers after processing. Collectively, the results provide the first steps toward BU-based immersion precipitated supramolecular membranes for biomedical applications.
Full Access Link: Macromolecular Bioscience