Biosurfaces, macromolecular assemblies, and surface analytical methods


Rigoberto C. Advincula,, Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, 136 Fleming Building, Houston, TX 77204-5003
In this tutorial, we focus on the synthesis, modification, and characterization of biosurfaces with relevance to bio-implants, drug release, biosensors, and tissue engineering. While most of these studies involve in-vitro and ex-situ types of investigations, their relevance to in-vivo phenomena as well as the possibilities for in-situ analysis is always a challenge. The application of new molecular and macromolecular assembly approaches together with different traditional treatments of bio-implant surfaces necessitates the use of surface-sensitive spectroscopic and analytical techniques. This includes optical methods, spectroscopic, and surface probe microscopy methods. Relevant biosurfaces can be prepared from lipid bilayer-membranes to oxide surfaces. However, organic amphiphiles and polymers have played an increasing role in improving surfaces used for implants and the creation of new functionality for controlled release mechanisms. Nanostructured surfaces allows for true molecular level correlation in phenomena such as protein and cell adhesion, bio-corrosion, controlled-release in drug delivery, and signaling.