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Chapter 2

Protein Adsorption on Surfaces: Understanding the Complex Nature of a Common Phenomenon

Contact of synthetic materials with biofluids (e.g. blood, urine) is very common in many aspects of modern medicine. Yet, these foreign surfaces have a tendency to accumulate unwanted biological species, a key issue potentially leading to deleterious outcomes. In particular, fouling by proteins – an event that occurs within mere seconds of exposure – plays a critical role in the mediation of cellular adhesion and activation of biological processes/responses, on which the fate of biomedical equipment/implants/devices crucially hinges. With respect to sensor technology, a recurrent concern is the degradation of the analytical performance due to signal interference. This chapter explores the current (molecular-level) understanding of the phenomenon of protein adsorption on artificial surfaces, highlighting the intrinsic structural complexity of proteins and the highly involved nature of the adsorption process/mechanism. Finally, also presented in this chapter is an overview of the potential consequences and associated risks – in both biomedical and bioanalytical realms – of protein adsorption on the exogenous surface of synthetic materials, taking as an example the quintessential proteinaceous biofluid that is blood.

Publication details

Print publication date
12 Sep 2016
Copyright year
2017
Print ISBN
978-1-78262-097-6
PDF eISBN
978-1-78262-204-8

From the book series:
Detection Science