Enzyme-catalyzed modification of PES surfaces: reduction in adsorption of BSA, dextrin and tannin.
ABSTRACT Poly(ethersulfone) (PES) can be modified in a flexible manner using mild, environmentally benign components such as 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and gallic acid, which can be attached to the surface via catalysis by the enzyme laccase. This leads to grafting of mostly linear polymeric chains (for 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, and for gallic acid at low concentration and short modification time) and of networks (for gallic acid at high concentration and long exposure time). The reaction is stopped at a specific time, and the modified surfaces are tested for adsorption of BSA, dextrin and tannin using in-situ reflectometry and AFM imaging. At short modification times, the adsorption of BSA, dextrin and tannin is significantly reduced. However, at longer modification times, the adsorption increases again for both substrates. As the contact angle on modified surfaces at short modification times is reduced (indicative of more hydrophilic surfaces), and keeps the same low values at longer modification times, hydrophilicity is not the only determining factor for the measured differences. At longer modification times, intra-layer reactivity will increase the amount of cross-linking (especially for gallic acid), branching (for 4-hydroxybenzoic acid) and/or collapse of the polymer chains. This leads to more compact layers, which leads to increased protein adsorption. The modifications were shown to have clear potential for reduction of fouling by proteins, polysaccharides, and polyphenols, which could be related to the surface morphology.