- Ista, L. K. and Lopez, G. P., Interfacial Tension Analysis of Oligo(ethylene glycol)-Terminated Self-Assembled Monolayers and Their Resistance to Bacterial Attachment,
Langmuir, vol. 28 no. 35
pp. 12844--12850 [doi] .
(last updated on 2013/06/21)
The fouling resistance of oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG)-terminated self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of alkanethiolates on gold has been well established. Although hydration of the OEG chains seems key to OEG-SAM resistance to macromolecular adsorption and cellular attachment, the details of how hydration prevents biofouling have been inferred largely through computational methods. Because OEG-SAMs of different lengths exhibit differing degrees of fouling resistance, the interactions between water and OEG-SAMs leading of fouling resistance can be deduced by comparing the properties of fouling and nonfouling OEG-SAMs. While all OEG-SAMs had similar water contact angles, contact angles taken with glycerol were able to individuate between different OEG-SAMs and between fouling and nonfouling OEG-SAMs. Subsequent estimation of surface and interfacial tension using a colloidal model showed that nonfouling surfaces are associated with an increased negative interfacial tension between those OEG-SAMs that resisted attachment and water. Further analysis of this interfacial tension experimentally confirmed current mathematical models that cite OEG-water hydrogen-bond formation as a driving force behind short-term fouling resistance. Finally, we found a correlation between solid-water interfacial tension and packing density and molecular density of ethylene glycol.