Membrane protein resistance of oligo(ethylene oxide) self-assembled monolayers

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2014 Oct 1;122:552-558. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2014.07.031. Epub 2014 Jul 31.


As part of an effort to develop biointerfaces for structure-function studies of integral membrane proteins (IMPs) a series of oligo(ethylene oxide) self-assembled monolayers (OEO-SAMs) were evaluated for their resistance to protein adsorption (RPA) of IMPs on Au and Pt. Spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) was used to determine SAM thicknesses and compare the RPA of HS(CH2)3O(CH2CH2O)6CH3 (1), HS(CH2)3O(CH2CH2O)6H (2), [HS(CH2)3]2CHO(CH2CH2O)6CH3 (3) and [HS(CH2)3]2CHO(CH2CH2O)6H (4), assembled from water. For both substrates, SAM thicknesses for 1 to 4 were found to be comparable indicating SAMs with similar surface coverages and OEO chain order and packing densities. Fibrinogen (Fb), a soluble plasma protein, and rhodopsin (Rd), an integral membrane G-protein coupled receptor, adsorbed to the SAMs of 1, as expected from previous reports, but not to the hydroxy-terminated SAMs of 2 and 4. The methoxy-terminated SAMs of 3 were resistant to Fb but, surprisingly, not to Rd. The stark difference between the adsorption of Rd to the SAMs of 3 and 4 clearly indicate that a hydroxy-terminus of the OEO chain is essential for high RPA of IMPs. The similar thicknesses and high RPA of the SAMs of 2 and 4 show the conditions of protein resistance (screening the underlying substrate, packing densities, SAM order, and conformational mobility of the OEO chains) defined from previous studies on Au are applicable to Pt. In addition, the SAMs of 4, exhibiting the highest resistance to Fb and Rd, were placed in contact with undiluted fetal bovine serum for 2h. Low protein adsorption (≈12.4ng/cm(2)), obtained under these more challenging conditions, denote a high potential of the SAMs of 4 for various applications requiring the suppression of non-specific protein adsorption.

Keywords: Membrane protein resistance; Oligo(ethylene oxide) self-assembled monolayers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Ethylene Oxide / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Polymerization
  • Surface Properties


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Ethylene Oxide