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The control and design of surface chemistry, including the development of polymer coatings, play an important role in the performance of materials for a wide range of applications, including in the biomedical field. Polymer brushes are a class of polymer coatings that are based on polymer chains tethered by one end to underlying solid substrates. The development of surface-initiated controlled radical polymerisations for the synthesis of polymer brushes1–3  has enabled the generation of interfaces and nanomaterials with a unique degree of control of chemistry, architecture and physico-chemical properties. These materials also display tuneable responsive properties, such as solvent, temperature,...

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