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Polyelectrolyte blend multilayer films: Surface morphology, wettability, and protein adsorption characteristics

Quinn, A., Tjipto, E., Yu, A., Gengenbach, T.R. and Caruso, F. (2007) Polyelectrolyte blend multilayer films: Surface morphology, wettability, and protein adsorption characteristics. Langmuir, 23 (9). pp. 4944-4949.

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We report the influence of polyelectrolyte (PE) multilayer films prepared from poly(styrene sulfonate) - poly(acrylic acid) (PSS-PAA) blends, deposited in alternation with poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH), on film wettability and the adsorption behavior of the protein immunoglobulin G (IgG). Variations in the chemical composition of the PAH/(PSS-PAA) multilayer films, controlled by the PSS/PAA blend ratio in the dipping solutions, were used to systematically control film thickness, surface morphology, surface wettability, and IgG adsorption. Spectroscopic ellipsometry measurements indicate that increasing the PSS content in the blend solutions results in a systematic decrease in film thickness. Increasing the PSS content in the blend solutions also leads to a reduction in film surface roughness (as measured by atomic force microscopy), with a corresponding increase in surface hydrophobicity. Advancing contact angles (θ) range from 7° for PAH/PAA films through to 53° for PAH/PSS films. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements indicate that the increase in film hydrophobicity is due to an increase in PSS concentration at the film surface. In addition, the influence of added electrolyte in the PE solutions was investigated. Adsorption from PE solutions containing added salt favors PSS adsorption and results in more hydrophobic films. The amount of IgG adsorbed on the multilayer films systematically increased on films assembled from blends with increasing PSS content, suggesting strong interactions between PSS in the multilayer films and IgG. Hence, multilayer films prepared from blended PE solutions can be used to tune film thickness and composition, as well as wetting and protein adsorption characteristics.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Copyright: © 2007 American Chemical Society.
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