Thin hydrogel coatings formation catalyzed by immobilized enzyme horseradish peroxidase


Enzymes can be a renewable source of catalytic agents and thus be interesting for sustainable approaches to create and modify functional materials. Here, thin hydrogel layers were prepared as thin coatings on hard substrates by immobilized horseradish peroxidase. Hydrophilic 4-arm star shaped telechelics from oligo(ethylene glycol) bearing on average 55% end groups derived from aromatic amino acids served as monomers and enzymatic substrates. Shifts of the contact angle from 84° to 62° for the wetting process and of zeta potential towards the neutral range illustrated an alteration of physicochemical properties of the model surfaces by a hydrophilic shielding. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), quartz crystal microbalance and atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments enabled the qualitative and quantitative proof of hydrogel deposition at the interface with thicknesses in the medium nanometer size range. Conceptually, as the immobilized enzyme becomes entrapped in the hydrogel and the crosslinking mechanism bases on a radical reaction after enzymatic activation of the monomers with a limited diffusivity and lifetime, the formed network material can be assumed to be inhomogeneous on the molecular level. On the macroscale, however, relative homogeneity of the coating was observed via ToF-SIMS and AFM mapping. As an exemplary functional evaluation in view of bioanalytical applications, the thrombogenicity of the coating was studied in static tests with human blood from several donors. In the future, this “coating-from” approach may be explored for cell culture substrate coatings, for protein/biofilm repellence in technical applications, or in bioanalytical devices.
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