"Docking sites": nanometer-scale organization of a reactive, protein-resistant, graft copolymer-based interface for macromolecule immobilization.

PMID 22039998


The signal-to-noise ratio of a sensor system is determined by the affinity of its active component for the analyte on one hand and its inertness with respect to unrelated stimuli (noise) on the other hand. Nonspecific interactions between the environment and biosensor components (typically constructed from glass, silica, or transition metal oxides) result in nonspecific adsorption onto the latter and constitute a major source of noise. We have previously introduced a polymeric interface for preventing nonspecific adsorption while allowing for high-affinity, specific interactions. It is based on the coassembly of biotinylated and nonbiotinylated poly(l-lysine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) from aqueous solutions to negatively charged surfaces, such as Nb(2)O(5). In this study, we investigated by atomic force microscopy the nanoscale organization of this interface for each individual step involved in the preparation of a bioactive interface: polymer adsorption, loading with streptavidin, and binding of biotinylated vesicles.