The focus in this thesis has been to gain a fundamental understanding of how different type of salts affect preadsorbed polyelectrolytes, both natural and synthetic. The knowledge from the fundamental work is then applied on a commercial system to investigate if the efficiency can be enhanced.
We built thin films using the synthetic polyelctrolytes by using layer-by layer (LbL) deposition. The formed film is commonly known as a polyelectrolyte multilayer. The LbL method allows the incorporation of proteins, polymers, polyelectrolytes with different functions and so on within the film, thus achieving multilayers with different functions.
The major measuring technique used within this thesis is the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), which measures mass adsorbed on a surface including the trapped solvent and the viscoelastic properties of an adsorbed film. The QCM-D measurements were complemented with an optical technique, dual polarization interferometry (DPI), which measures the change in refractive index and thickness. From these parameters the dry mass and relative water content of the film can be calculated. The Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) further gave information about forces acting between preadsorbed films.
We investigated the effect of salt on synthetic polyelectrolyte poly(allylamine hydrochloride)/poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) built with the LbL technique, thus forming polyelectrolyte multilayers. We concluded that the multilayer build-up was linear and that the internal structure of the multilayer is of a compact and rigid nature. However, the type of rinsing protocol (termination of adsorption by: salt, water and salt first followed by water) has a significant effect on the outer layer of the formed multilayer. Interestingly, the structural changes only applied when poly(allylamine hydrochloride) was at the outermost layer and the most significant when water was used. We suggest that it is only the top layer that swells due to the removal of counterions resulting in increased intrachain repulsion. We further performed two-layer model calculations with the Voight model to confirm the QCM-D results as well as a novel two layer model simulation for the DPI data in order to resolve the thickness. The model calculations were in good agreement with each other thus we concluded that only the outer layer swells for this particular multilayer system.
In a related experiment we studied the adsorption of bovine submaxillary mucin (BSM), which has an important mucousal function, to different thiol modified gold surfaces as well as the effect of electrolytes (NaCl, CaCl2, LaCl3) on preadsorbed mucin to a hydrophobic thiol-modified Au surface. The salt induced an expansion at low concentrations; higher concentrations resulted in a compaction. Increasing the valence of the counter ion resultedin a compaction at low concentrations. The structural change of preadsorbed BSM was reversible for NaCl, partially reversible for CaCl2 and irreversible for LaCl3. Interestingly, the swelling of BSM could not be fully understood by using the QCM-D and thus AFM force curves of the same system were taken and the results showed that NaCl does decrease the tail length due to the effective screening of charged sites within the BSM molecule. Increasing the valence resulted in a notable compaction already at very low concentrations suggesting that the ions bind to the anionic sites on BSM.
In the last work we attempted to combine the gained knowledge from the previous studies by using the LbL-buildup on an actual commercial health care application. The above-mentioned mutlilayer were used to coat polystyrene wells in order to increase the binding of immunoglobulin (IgG). The main goal was to increase the sensitivity of the conventional enzymelinked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot) and subsequently the modified polystyrene wells were used with the ELISpot test with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to measure the cytokine response. We suggested that the main driving force for adsorption for IgG on a PAH terminated multilayer is electrostatic attraction, whereas on PSS terminated multilayer the driving force is hydrophobic. Further, we suggested that IgG does not overcharge the surface and the linearity of the multilayer build-up is not altered when IgG is incorporated within the multilayer structure. We concluded that the cytokine response (spots) on the built multilayers regardless thickness or adsorbed IgG is significantly less than the regular polyvinyldiene fluoride (PVDF) backed ELISpot wells. We suggested that due to the compact and rigid nature of the PAH/PSS multilayer structure it is unable to form the kind of three-dimensional antibody-binding support found in the PVDF membrane. PSS terminated PAH/PSS multilayer did not induce any cytokine response whereas PAH terminated did, which suggests that PSS totally covers the surface from the cells point of view.
Stockholm: KTH , 2010. , ix, 51 p.
2010-06-11, E1, Lindstedtsvägen 3, entréplan, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)