Stimuli-responsive interfaces and systems for the control of protein-surface and cell-surface interactions

Martin A. Cole, Nicolas H. Voelcker, Helmut Thissen, Hans Joerg Griesser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

371 Citations (Scopus)


Real-time control over and reversibility of biomolecule-surface interactions at interfaces is an increasingly important goal for a range of scientific fields and applications. The field of stimuli-responsive, smart or switchable systems has generated much research interest due to its potential to attain unprecedented levels of control over biomolecule adsorption processes and interactions at engineered interfaces, including the control over reversibility of adsorption. Advances in this field are particularly relevant to applications in the areas of biosensing, chromatography, drug delivery and regenerative medicine. The control over biomolecule adsorption and desorption processes at interfaces is often used to control subsequent events such as cell-surface interactions. Considerable research interest has been directed at systems that can be reversibly switched between interacting and non-interacting states and used thus for switching, on and off, bio-interfacial interactions such as protein adsorption. Such switchable coatings often incorporate features such as temporal resolution, spatial resolution and reversibility. Here we review recent literature on switchable coatings that employ stimuli such as light, temperature, electric potential, pH and ionic strength to control protein adsorption/desorption and cell attachment/detachment en route to the development of next-generation smart bio-interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1827-1850
Number of pages24
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell culture
  • pH sensitive
  • Protein adsorption
  • Stimuli-responsive polymers
  • Surface modification
  • Thermally responsive polymer

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