Interactions between polymer surfaces and proteins towards an ideal biosensor substrate material
PhD project Marijn Kemper
Master student: Emiel Visser
The performance of immunoassay biosensors is strongly determined by the conformation of proteins immobilized on the sensor surface. To improve protein reactivity and reduce non-specific binding, we are performing a fundamental study on the interaction between proteins and a polymeric biosensor surface. We focus our studies on the adsorption of myoglobin on a polystyrene sensor surface. We combine experimental characterization techniques (in MBx) with molecular dynamics simulations (in TPS).
To systematically study protein-polymer interactions, we are preparing a range of polystyrene surfaces with well-controlled oxidation states. The orientation of proteins on the surface will be determined using monoclonal antibodies. Interaction energies will be measured using superparamagnetic beads that apply a translational or rotational excitation to the molecule. The experimental results will be compared to molecular dynamics simulations. The acquired knowledge will lead to a better understanding of protein-surface interactions and will set directions for biosensor optimizations.