AbstractCellobiose-pendant polymers were synthesized by radical polymerization and their affinity for a cellulose matrix was investigated by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). A 2-(methacryloyloxy)ethylureido cellobiose (MOU-Cel) macromer was synthesized by coupling cellobiosylamine with 2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl isocyanate followed by polymerization in an aqueous radical reaction system. The interaction of the resulting poly(MOU-Cel) with a pure cellulose matrix in water was evaluated by QCM analysis. Poly(MOU-Cel) was strongly adsorbed to the cellulose substrate, whereas neither cellobiose nor MOU-Cel macromer exhibited an attractive interaction with cellulose. This specific interaction was not inhibited by the presence of ionic contaminants, suggesting that multiple cellobiopyranose moieties in each polymer molecule might cooperatively enhance its affinity for cellulose. Moderate insertion of acrylamide units into the polymer backbone improved the affinity for cellulose, possibly due to an increased mobility of sugar side chains. Polymers such as these, with a high affinity for cellulose, have potential applications for the surface functionalization of cellulose-based materials, including paper products.