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Multilayer Buildup and Biofouling Characteristics of PSS-b-PEG Containing Films

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journal contribution
posted on 15.06.2010, 00:00 by Christina Cortez, John F. Quinn, Xiaojuan Hao, Chakravarthy S. Gudipati, Martina H. Stenzel, Thomas P. Davis, Frank Caruso
Thin films exhibiting protein resistance are of interest in diverse areas, ranging from low fouling surfaces in biomedicine to marine applications. Herein, we report the preparation of low protein and cell binding multilayer thin films, formed by the alternate deposition of a block copolymer comprising polystyrene sulfonate and poly(poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate) (PSS-b-PEG), and polyallylamine hydrochloride (PAH). Film buildup was followed by quartz crystal microgravimetry (QCM), which showed linear growth and a high degree of hydration of the PSS-b-PEG/PAH films. Protein adsorption studies with bovine serum albumin using QCM demonstrated that multilayer films of PSS/PAH with a terminal layer of PSS-b-PEG were up to 5-fold more protein resistant than PSS-terminated films. Protein binding was dependent on the ionic strength at which the terminal layer of PSS-b-PEG was adsorbed, as well as the pH of the protein solution. It was also possible to control the protein resistance of the films by coadsorption of the final layer with another component (PSS), which showed an increase in protein resistance as the proportion of PSS-b-PEG in the adsorption solution was increased. In addition, protein resistance could also be controlled by the location of a single PSS-b-PEG layer within a PSS/PAH film. Finally, the buildup of PSS-b-PEG/PAH films on colloidal particles was demonstrated. PSS-b-PEG-terminated particles exhibited a 6.5-fold enhancement in cell binding resistance compared with PSS-terminated particles. The stability of PSS-b-PEG films combined with their low protein and cell binding characteristics provide opportunities for the use of the films as low fouling coatings in devices and other surfaces requiring limited interaction with biological interfaces.