Self-Assembled Monolayers for the Tailoring of Bio-Interfaces

Andreas Terfort

Faculty of Chemistry, University of Marburg, Hans-Meerwein-Straße, 35032 Marburg, Germany




Interfaces play a crucial role in biology and medicine. Of the different types of interfaces, those of solids in contact with any kind of biofluid (in the broadest sense) are of major technical importance. Typical examples are implants, medical apparatus, and sensor surfaces. One of the most important problems to be addressed is the suppression of unspecific adsorption of bio-entities (proteins, bacteria, etc.), since these can either lead to the destruction of these surfaces (in technical devices) or to inflammation reactions (in living organisms).

The chemical modification of surfaces permits the exact adjustment of its properties, such as bio-resistance or specific biorecognition. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of covalently attached molecules on these surfaces represent the most elegant approach for such modifications since they are ultrathin (typically 1-3 nm) and densely packed. In this talk, we will present strategies to make surfaces bio-resistant towards the adsorption of proteins as well as different pathogenic bacteria. In addition we will show that either by pre- or post-monolayer formation chemistry specifity for certain (bio)molecules can be attained, which makes these surfaces useful for sensing applications.