A comparison of the adsorption of saliva proteins and some typical proteins onto the surface of hydroxyapatite

K. Kawasaki, M. Kambara, H. Matsumura, W. Norde

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Adsorption of protein from saliva on hydroxyapatite was compared with adsorption of several typical proteins with different electric charges, i.e. lysozyme, human serum albumin, @b-lactoglobulin and ovalbumin. Adsorbed amounts of these proteins were determined and electrophoretic mobilities of protein-covered hydroxyapatite particles were measured, at different values for the adsorbed mass and, therefore, at various degrees of surface coverage. Also, adsorption kinetics were investigated by streaming potential measurements of a hydroxyapatite surface in contact with a protein solution, allowing monitoring of changes in the zeta-potential of the protein-covered hydroxyapatite surface in real time. The adsorbed amounts show that, as compared to most of the other proteins, the saliva proteins have remarkably low adsorption affinity. The measured values for the electrophoretic mobilities indicate that the positively charged proteins in the saliva mixture preferentially adsorb onto the negatively charged hydroxyapatite surface; this is most pronounced at low protein concentration in solution (i.e. at low coverage of the surface by the protein). Preferential uptake of the positively charged saliva proteins during the initial stages of the adsorption process is also concluded from the results of the kinetics experiments. Preferential adsorption of positive proteins is somewhat suppressed by the presence of Ca^2^+ ions in the medium. The results suggest that an acquired pellicle on a tooth in an oral environment contains a significant fraction of positively charged proteins. The positively charged proteins in the pellicle reduce the zeta-potential at the tooth surface to low values; consequently, electrostatic forces are expected to play only a minor role in the interaction with other components (e.g. bacterial cells).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-334
JournalColloids and Surfaces. B: Biointerfaces
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • proline-rich proteins
  • bovine serum-albumin
  • human-enamel
  • in-vitro
  • synthetic hydroxyapatite
  • solid/liquid interfaces
  • dynamic method
  • pellicle
  • constituents
  • potentials


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