Dopamine-assisted immobilization of poly(ethylene imine) based polymers for control of cell-surface interactions

Wei-Bor Tsai, Chih Yuan Chien, Helmut Thissen, Juin Yih Lai

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97 Citations (Scopus)


Non-fouling coatings play a critical role in many biomedical applications, such as diagnostic assay materials, biosensors, blood contacting devices and other implants. In the present work we have developed a facile, one step deposition method based on dopamine polymerization for preparation of non-fouling and biotinylated surfaces for biomedical applications. Poly(ethylene imine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) co-polymer (PEI-g-PEG) was mixed with an alkaline dopamine solution and then deposited onto different substrates. The dopamine coatings formed by this method were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and the results indicated successful deposition of PEG. The resultant dopamine coatings formed on tissue culture polystyrene by this method revealed successful deposition of PEG, as shown by XPS. PEI-g-PEG/dopamine deposition for 2 h inhibited the adsorption of serum proteins and the attachment of fibroblasts, suggesting that PEG molecules were immobilized in a sufficient density on the surface of the coating. Furthermore, co-deposition of PEI-g-PEG and PEI-g-biotin in alkaline dopamine solutions provided a cell-resisting background surface, at the same time providing accessible biotin molecules. We have demonstrated that the surface can be used for the selective binding of avidin, followed by the binding of Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-biotin and enhanced cell attachment by specific cell-ligand interactions. In conclusion, our one step immobilization method provides a simple tool to fabricate surfaces with controllable cell affinity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2518-2525
Number of pages8
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotin
  • Cell attachment
  • Dopamine
  • Non-fouling
  • Poly(ethylene glycol)

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