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Effect of nanoscale surface topography on the adsorption of globular proteins

Yang, Y.; Yu, M.; Böke, F.; Qin, Q.; Hübner, R.; Knust, S.; Schwiderek, S.; Grundmeier, G.; Fischer, H.; Keller, A.

Protein adsorption is the initial step in the response of biological systems to artificial surfaces and thus a ubiquitous phenomenon in biomedicine and tissue engineering. Here, we investigate the adsorption of the three globular proteins myoglobin (MGB), thyroglobulin (TGL), and bovine serum albumin (BSA) at flat and nanorippled SiOx/Si and TiOx/Ti surfaces. Despite having lateral and vertical dimensions of only about 30 nm and less than 2 nm, respectively, these nanoripples influence protein adsorption and adsorption-induced protein denaturation in a highly protein- and material-specific way. Adsorption of small, positively charged MGB results in preferential protein alignment along the nanoripples on both oxide surfaces. The larger and strongly negatively charged TGL forms layers of similar thickness on all four surfaces except the nanorippled TiOx/Ti surface. Here, a smaller layer thickness is attributed to different denaturation states of the adsorbed proteins. Similarly, the smaller and less negatively charged BSA shows different degrees of denaturation on the flat and rippled SiOx/Si surfaces. Our results thus demonstrate that topographic surface features with vertical dimensions well below 10 nm may have a surprisingly strong effect on protein adsorption and thus need to be considered in the interaction of biological systems even with apparently flat surfaces.

Keywords: Protein adsorption; Biomaterials; Biointerfaces; Nanopatterning; Surface topography

Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-31499
Publ.-Id: 31499