Characterization of protein films on glass surfaces

Protein films form on nearly all surfaces as soon as they are stored under humid, non-sterile conditions. They transform in a later stage to biofilms which are present in such different environments as the oral cavity (plaque on teeth) or in food or pharmaceutical packages.

In this context the interaction between proteins and substrates will be studied by means of a variety of surface analytical tools. As substrate different forms of glass will be chosen because of its importance in pharmaceutical packaging. Different pretreatments such as ion etching will be pursued as well. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS, IFOS) will be the major tool to study the chemical composition as a function of surface position and depth. These studies will be compared to scanning force spectroscopy results (Ziegler) by which the binding force between proteins and substrate can be determined. Furthermore, methods such as static (IFOS) and dynamic (Ziegler) contact angle as well as zeta potential measurements of the isoelectric point measurements will be applied. This will allow to develop a detailed picture of protein interaction as a function of hydrophilicity and electrostatics.

Principal Investigators:

Prof. Dr. Michael Kopnarski (IFOS GmbH)

Prof. Dr. Christiane Ziegler(Department of Physics, TU Kaiserslautern)