Solid surfaces are modified by grafting poly(ethylene oxide), PEO, to influence their interaction with indwelling particles, in particular molecules of bovine serum albumin and human plasma proteins. As a rule, the grafted PEO layers suppress protein adsorption. The suppression is most effective when the PEO layer is in a molecular brush conformation having a reciprocal grafting density (area per grafted PEO chain) less than the dimensions of the protein molecules. Nevertheless, the protein molecules may penetrate the PEO brush to some extent. For a given grafting density, the penetration is facilitated by increasing thickness of the brush. Tenuous brushes of reciprocal grafting densities exceeding the protein molecular dimensions enhance protein adsorption. The results point to a weak attractive interaction between PEO and protein. The protein repellency of a densely PEO-brushed surface is ascribed to a high activation energy for the protein molecules to enter the brush. Varying the temperature between 22 and 38°C does not significantly affect the range of grafting density over which the brush changes from protein-attractive to protein-repellent.
- poly(ethylene oxide) brushes
- protein adsorption
Norde, W., & Gage, R. A. (2004). Interaction of bovine serum albumin and human blood plasma with PEO-tethered surfaces : influence of PEO chain length, grafting density and temperature. Langmuir, 20(10), 4162-4167. https://doi.org/10.1021/la030417t