Comparison of the binding mode of plasmid DNA to allylamine plasma polymer and poly(ethylene glycol) surfaces

Andrew L. Hook, Helmut Thissen, Jamie Quinton, Nicolas H. Voelcker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Concomitant with the development of advanced biomaterials and other biodevices, the precise control of biomolecule-surface interactions is becoming increasingly important. Of particular interest are devices presenting functional DNA either for hybridization or for uptake by cells. Such devices are poised to underpin advanced genomic studies and DNA therapy. However, these devices require an in-depth understanding of how specific biomolecules interact with particular surfaces. This report investigates how DNA interacts with two coatings commonly used for the control of protein and cell-surface interactions on biomedical devices, focusing on the nature of the DNA-surface interactions. The coatings were produced by allylamine plasma polymerization (ALAPP) and subsequent high-density grafting of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). While the low protein binding nature of such coatings has been shown before, we show here that PEG grafted surfaces also exhibit significantly reduced attachment of double-stranded plasmid DNA with an equilibrium constant of 680 ml/mg as compared with 1600 ml/mg for ALAPP modified surfaces. Given these findings, there is scope to produce two-dimensionally controlled DNA adsorption patterns on spatially patterned ALAPP and PEG chemistries. Significantly, both hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions were shown to contribute to the binding of DNA to the ALAPP film. Finally, the ability to manipulate DNA by applying an electrical bias to these surfaces was also demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1883-1891
Number of pages9
JournalSurface Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption isotherms
  • Biological molecules - nucleic acids
  • Photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Switchable surfaces

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