The adsorption of model charged proteins on charged surfaces with and without grafted polymers is studied using a molecular approach. The ability of the polymer layer to reduce the amount of proteins adsorbed on top of the surface (primary adsorption) and at the same time to increase the adsorption of the proteins on top of the polymer layer (secondary adsorption) is presented. It is found that charging the free ends of the chains can result in an efficient way to enhance adsorption at the tip of the brush. Increasing the surface coverage of the polymers with charged free ends enhances the amount of proteins adsorbed at the tip of the polymer layer, while at the same time strongly reduces the number of proteins adsorbed directly onto the surface. The interplay between the attractive van der Waals protein-surface interactions, the steric polymer-protein interactions and the effect of the electrostatic interactions in determining the final adsorption is discussed. The manipulation of solution conditions to tune the amount of secondary adsorption is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry