Molecular simulations were performed to investigate the origin of the strong repulsive force acting on a protein as the protein approaches an oligo (ethylene glycol) self-assembled monolayer (OEG-SAM) surface. Since the repulsive force is mainly generated from water molecules, the force from the water molecules near the surface was calculated layer by layer to further identify the molecular origin of the repulsive force. Results show that the strong repulsive force acting on the protein near the OEG-SAM surface is dominantly generated by the interfacial water molecules located between the OEG-SAM surface and lysozyme. A hydroxyl-terminated SAM (OH-SAM) surface was used for comparison. No significant repulsive force was observed from the water molecules between the protein and OH-SAM surface. Further studies show that the dipole distribution of the interfacial water molecules is significantly affected by the OEG-SAM surface, as opposed to the negligible impact from the OH-SAM surface. The interfacial water molecules above the OEG-SAM surface stay longer and reorient more slowly than those above the OH-SAM surface. These results from this work support the hypothesis that the OEG-SAM surface interacts strongly with interfacial water molecules and creates a stable hydration layer that prevents proteins from adsorbing to the surface.
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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
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