American Chemical Society
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Salting Up and Salting Down of Bovine Serum Albumin Layers at the Air–Water Interface

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-09, 12:39 authored by Guangcui Yuan, Paul A. Kienzle, Sushil K. Satija
The surface adsorption of bovine serum albumin in pure water and salted aqueous solutions was studied by neutron reflection. With the contrast match technique, the surface excess in null reflecting water as a function of the protein concentration was revealed. It is found that, in a concentration range from 1 ppm (parts per million, mg/L) to 1000 ppm, without salts, the surface excess shows a profound peak at around 20 ppm; with salts, the surface excess increases steadily with the protein concentration. When the surface excess at a specific protein concentration is viewed, the introduction of sodium chloride causes either a salting down effect (surface adsorption decline) or a salting up effect (surface adsorption increase), depending upon the protein concentration. The salting up effect is observed at the low (∼1 ppm) and high (∼1000 ppm) concentrations, and the salting down effect dominates the intermediate concentration range. The change in solution pH relative to the isoelectric point (PI) can act as a simple indicator for the salting up or salting down behavior. When the solution pH is shifted toward the PI by adding salts, surface adsorption enhances; when the solution pH is shifted away from the PI by adding salts, surface adsorption declines.