Patterned and switchable surfaces for biomaterial applications

Author: Andrew Leslie Hook

Hook, Andrew Leslie, 2008 Patterned and switchable surfaces for biomaterial applications, Flinders University, School of Chemistry, Physics & Earth Sciences

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The interactions of biomolecules and cells at solid-liquid interfaces play a pivotal role in a range of biomedical applications and have hence been studied in detail. An improved understanding of these interactions results in the ability to manipulate biomolecules and concurrently cells spatially and temporally at surfaces with high precision. Spatial control can be achieved using patterned surface chemistries whilst temporal control is achieved by switchable surfaces. The combination of these two surface properties offers unprecedented control over the behaviour of biomolecules and cells at the solid-liquid interface. This is particularly relevant for cell microarray applications, where a range of biological processes must be duly controlled in order to maximise the efficiency and throughput of these devices. Of particular interest are transfected cell microarrays (TCMs), which significantly widen the scope of microarray genomic analysis by enabling the high-throughput analysis of gene function within living cells Initially, this thesis focuses on the spatially controlled, electro-stimulated adsorption and desorption of DNA. Surface modification of a silicon chip with an allylamine plasma polymer (ALAPP) layer resulted in a surface that supported DNA adsorption and sustained cell attachment. Subsequent high density grafting of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) formed a layer resistant to biomolecule adsorption and cell attachment. PEG grafted surfaces also showed significantly reduced attachment of DNA with an equilibrium binding constant of 23 ml/mg as compared with 1600 ml/mg for ALAPP modified surfaces. Moreover, both hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions were shown to contribute to the binding of DNA to ALAPP. Spatial control over the surface chemistry was achieved using excimer laser ablation of the PEG coating which enabled the production of patterns of re-exposed ALAPP with high resolution. Preferential electro-stimulated adsorption of DNA to the ALAPP regions and subsequent desorption by the application of a negative bias was observed. Furthermore, this approach was investigated for TCM applications. Cell culture experiments demonstrated efficient and controlled transfection of cells. Electro-stimulated desorption of DNA was shown to yield enhanced solid phase transfection efficiencies with values of up to 30%. The ability to spatially control DNA adsorption combined with the ability to control the binding and release of DNA by application of a controlled voltage enables an advanced level of control over DNA bioactivity on solid substrates and lends itself to biochip applications. As an alternative approach to surface patterning, the fabrication and characterisation of chemical patterns using a technique that can be readily integrated with methods currently used for the formation of microarrays is also presented. Here, phenylazide modified polymers were printed onto low fouling ALAPP-PEG modified surfaces. UV irradiation of these polymer arrays resulted in the crosslinking of the polymer spots and their covalent attachment to the surface. Cell attachment was shown to follow the patterned surface chemistry. Due to the use of a microarray contact printer it was easily possible to deposit DNA on top of the polymer microarray spots. A transfected cell microarray was generated in this way, demonstrating the ability to limit cell attachment to specific regions and the suitability of this approach for high density cell assays. In order to allow for the high-throughput characterisation of the resultant polymer microarrays, surface plasmon resonance imaging was utilised to study the adsorption and desorption of bovine serum albumin, collagen and fibronectin. This analysis enabled insights into the underlying mechanisms of cell attachment to the polymers studied. For the system analysed here, electrostatic interactions were shown to dominate cellular behaviour.

Keywords: surface analysis,biomolecular manipulation,transfection,microarray,surface plasmon resonance imaging
Subject: Chemistry thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2008
School: School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Supervisor: Professor Nicolas H. Voelcker