Relevant Aspects of Surface Physical Chemistry
The chapter begins the text by pointing out the common ground that is evident for substrate surface issues in terms of both biosensor and biomaterial technologies. Fouling of surfaces by the components of biological fluids constitutes a serious problem in both cases. The chapter then proceeds to a detailed discussion of the highly relevant aspects of surface physics, interfacial thermodynamics, surface free energy, and the related topic of wettability. With regard to the interaction with biological entities, major roles are played by surface chemistry: functionality, mesoscopic forces, and morphology. These topics are then followed by a concise look at methods conventionally employed for the characterization of surfaces, mainly with the non-biology specialist in mind. These include X-ray, photoelectron, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, water contact angle determination, and atomic force microscopy. The chapter closes with a discussion on the investigation of the substrate surface–biomolecule interaction.