Chemisorbed poly(propylene sulphide)-based copolymers resist biomolecular interactions

J. P. Bearinger, S. Terrettaz, R. Michel, N. Tirelli, H. Vogel, M. Textor, J. A. Hubbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


Alkanethiolates have been widely used as chemisorbates to modify gold surfaces, in spite of their relatively poor oxidative stability. We introduce gold-chemisorbing block copolymers bearing an anchoring block of poly(propylene sulphide) (PPS), selected in the expectation of greater stability. These materials offer a more robust approach to surface modification of gold. As an example, a triblock copolymer with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was selected, with the goal of minimizing biological adsorption and adhesion. The copolymer PEG17-bl-PPS25-bl-PEG9 chemisorbed to form a dense monolayer of 2.6 ± 26 ng cm-2, ∼2.2 nm thick. The copolymeric adlayer was much more stable to oxidation than commonly used alkanethiolates. Its presence greatly reduced protein adsorption (>95%), even after exposure to whole blood serum (>55 mg ml-1), as well as cell adhesion over long culture durations (>97%). PPS-containing copolymers are and attractive alternative to alkanethiolates, and PEG-bl-PPS-bl-PEG presents a powerful example for use in biodiagnostic and bioanalytical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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