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Superior Antifouling Performance of a Zwitterionic Peptide Compared to an Amphiphilic, Non-Ionic Peptide

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journal contribution
posted on 14.10.2015, 00:00 by Huijun Ye, Libing Wang, Renliang Huang, Rongxin Su, Boshi Liu, Wei Qi, Zhimin He
The aim of this study was to explore the influence of amphiphilic and zwitterionic structures on the resistance of protein adsorption to peptide self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) and gain insight into the associated antifouling mechanism. Two kinds of cysteine-terminated heptapeptides were studied. One peptide had alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic residues with an amphiphilic sequence of CYSYSYS. The other peptide (CRERERE) was zwitterionic. Both peptides were covalently attached onto gold substrates via gold–thiol bond formation. Surface plasmon resonance analysis results showed that both peptide SAMs had ultralow or low protein adsorption amounts of 1.97–11.78 ng/cm2 in the presence of single proteins. The zwitterionic peptide showed relatively higher antifouling ability with single proteins and natural complex protein media. We performed molecular dynamics simulations to understand their respective antifouling behaviors. The results indicated that strong surface hydration of peptide SAMs contributes to fouling resistance by impeding interactions with proteins. Compared to the CYSYSYS peptide, more water molecules were predicted to form hydrogen-bonding interactions with the zwitterionic CRERERE peptide, which is in agreement with the antifouling test results. These findings reveal a clear relation between peptide structures and resistance to protein adsorption, facilitating the development of novel peptide-containing antifouling materials.