Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. vol:21 issue:13 pages:5988-96
Protein resistant surfaces based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coatings are extensively applied in the fields of biosensors, tissue engineering, fundamental cell-surface interaction research, and drug delivery systems. The structural organization of the PEG film on the surface has a significant effect on the performance of the film to resist protein adsorption. In this paper, we report an approach using solvent to control the organization of the polymeric monolayer on gold. A water soluble copolymer with grafted PEG side chains and alkyl disulfide side chains was synthesized. A polymeric monolayer was fabricated on a gold surface from different solutions (water- and toluene-based) of the copolymer. The organization of the polymeric monolayers was characterized by means of ellipsometry, cyclic voltammetry, contact angle, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. It was proven that the structural organization of the polymeric monolayer on a gold surface could be controlled by the solvent. A polymeric monolayer with PEG enriched at the outer level is obtained when water is used as the solvent. Various types of proteins, including fibrinogen, albumin, and normal human serum, were used to test the protein resistance of the gold surfaces modified by the polymeric monolayers. The polymeric monolayer formed from a water solution of the copolymer showed excellent protein resistance. In addition, by using water as the solvent, patterning of the polymeric monolayer could easily be achieved through a combination of lift-off and self-assembly. We believe that the approach reported here provides an easy, fast, and efficient way to fabricate a robust protein resistant surface.