Polymer brushes in solid-state nanopores form an impenetrable entropic barrier for proteins

Emilsson, Gustav and Xiong, Kunli and Sakiyama, Yusuke and Malekian, Bita and Gagnér, Viktor Ahlberg and Schoch, Rafael L. and Lim, Roderick Y. H. and Dahlin, Andreas B.. (2018) Polymer brushes in solid-state nanopores form an impenetrable entropic barrier for proteins. Nanoscale (10). pp. 4663-4669.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY (Attribution).


Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/61157/

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Polymer brushes are widely used to prevent the adsorption of proteins, but the mechanisms by which they operate have remained heavily debated for many decades. We show conclusive evidence that a polymer brush can be a remarkably strong kinetic barrier towards proteins by using poly(ethylene glycol) grafted to the sidewalls of pores in 30 nm thin gold films. Despite consisting of about 90% water, the free coils seal apertures up to 100 nm entirely with respect to serum protein translocation, as monitored label-free through the plasmonic activity of the nanopores. The conclusions are further supported by atomic force microscopy and fluorescence microscopy. A theoretical model indicates that the brush undergoes a morphology transition to a sealing state when the ratio between the extension and the radius of curvature is approximately 0.8. The brush-sealed pores represent a new type of ultrathin filter with potential applications in bioanalytical systems.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Structural Biology & Biophysics > Nanobiology Argovia (Lim)
UniBasel Contributors:Lim, Roderick Y.H.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Royal Society of Chemistry
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Related URLs:
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:28 May 2020 09:18
Deposited On:11 Apr 2018 07:44

Repository Staff Only: item control page