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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.

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12 Sep 2016
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From the book series:
Detection Science