Self-assembly of focal point oligo-catechol ethylene glycol dendrons on titanium oxide surfaces: adsorption kinetics, surface characterization, and nonfouling properties

Gillich, Torben; Benetti, Edmondo M; Rakhmatullina, Ekaterina; Konradi, Rupert; Li, Wen; Zhang, Afang; Schlüter, A Dieter; Textor, Marcus (2011). Self-assembly of focal point oligo-catechol ethylene glycol dendrons on titanium oxide surfaces: adsorption kinetics, surface characterization, and nonfouling properties. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133(28), pp. 10940-50. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society 10.1021/ja202760x

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This work covers the synthesis of second-generation, ethylene glycol dendrons covalently linked to a surface anchor that contains two, three, or four catechol groups, the molecular assembly in aqueous buffer on titanium oxide surfaces, and the evaluation of the resistance of the monomolecular adlayers against nonspecific protein adsorption in contact with full blood serum. The results were compared to those of a linear poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) analogue with the same molecular weight. The adsorption kinetics as well as resulting surface coverages were monitored by ex situ spectroscopic ellipsometry (VASE), in situ optical waveguide lightmode spectroscopy (OWLS), and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) investigations. The expected compositions of the macromolecular films were verified by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results of the adsorption study, performed in a high ionic strength ("cloud-point") buffer at room temperature, demonstrate that the adsorption kinetics increase with increasing number of catechol binding moieties and exceed the values found for the linear PEG analogue. This is attributed to the comparatively smaller and more confined molecular volume of the dendritic macromolecules in solution, the improved presentation of the catechol anchor, and/or their much lower cloud-point in the chosen buffer (close to room temperature). Interestingly, in terms of mechanistic aspects of "nonfouling" surface properties, the dendron films were found to be much stiffer and considerably less hydrated in comparison to the linear PEG brush surface, closer in their physicochemical properties to oligo(ethylene glycol) alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers than to conventional brush surfaces. Despite these differences, both types of polymer architectures at saturation coverage proved to be highly resistant toward protein adsorption. Although associated with higher synthesis costs, dendritic macromolecules are considered to be an attractive alternative to linear polymers for surface (bio)functionalization in view of their spontaneous formation of ultrathin, confluent, and nonfouling monolayers at room temperature and their outstanding ability to present functional ligands (coupled to the termini of the dendritic structure) at high surface densities.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry

UniBE Contributor:

Rakhmatullina, Ekaterina




American Chemical Society




Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:16

Last Modified:

25 Jan 2017 12:16

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 208824)

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