Reduction of protein adsorption on surfaces coated with Complex Coacercate Core Micelles

A.M. Brzozowska

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The structure and formation of Ionomer Complexes (ICs) consisting of linear polyelectrolytes
(C3Ms) has been extensively studied in the past years. Recently, these structures were also
considered for several applications. This thesis deals with the possible application of ICs as a
surface coating suppressing protein adsorption independent of the properties of the native
surface. To reach this goal it was crucial to understand the principles governing the adsorption
and the stability of the IC layers on solid surfaces, as well as their interactions with proteins.
Therefore, this research was limited to well defined model substrates: silica (model hydrophilic
surface), polystyrene (model hydrophobic surface), and polysulfone (a surface mimicking
polymeric membrane material), and model proteins: β-lactoglobulin, bovine serum albumin,
fibrinogen, and lysozyme. The ultimate goal, however, was to apply the coating on surfaces of
membranes used in water purification to suppress biofilm growth. We have observed that
reduction of protein adsorption by coating formed by regular C3Ms is not satisfactory due to
relatively low density of the polymer brushes formed on the coated surface. We increased the
grafting density, and hence significantly improved the reduction of protein adsorption, by
introducing grafted block and grafted copolymers into the micelles. In our work we discuss an
influence of various factors, i.e. physical-chemical properties of the native surfaces, lengths of the
charged blocks, distribution of the grafts along the backbone of the copolymer, salt concentration
etc., on the performance of the formed coatings. In the final part we focus on the mechanical
stability of the coatings formed with ICs, and discuss their applicability as a membrane surface
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Cohen Stuart, Martien, Promotor
  • Norde, Willem, Promotor
  • de Keizer, Arie, Co-promotor
Award date29 Jun 2010
Place of Publication[S.l.
Print ISBNs9789085856832
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2010


  • micelles
  • coatings
  • proteins
  • adsorption
  • surface chemistry


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