Immunoglobulin adsorption and film formation on mechanically wrinkled and crumpled surfaces at submonolayer coverage

Matthew T. Gole, Mohan T. Dronadula, Narayana R. Aluru, Catherine J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding protein adsorption behavior on rough and wrinkled surfaces is vital to applications including biosensors and flexible biomedical devices. Despite this, there is a dearth of study on protein interaction with regularly undulating surface topographies, particularly in regions of negative curvature. Here we report nanoscale adsorption behavior of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) on wrinkled and crumpled surfaces via atomic force microscopy (AFM). Hydrophilic plasma treated poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) wrinkles with varying dimensions exhibit higher surface coverage of IgM on wrinkle peaks over valleys. Negative curvature in the valleys is determined to reduce protein surface coverage based both on an increase in geometric hindrance on concave surfaces, and reduced binding energy as calculated in coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. The smaller IgG molecule in contrast shows no observable effects on coverage from this degree of curvature. The same wrinkles with an overlayer of monolayer graphene show hydrophobic spreading and network formation, and inhomogeneous coverage across wrinkle peaks and valleys attributed to filament wetting and drying effects in the valleys. Additionally, adsorption onto uniaxial buckle delaminated graphene shows that when wrinkle features are on the length scale of the protein diameter, hydrophobic deformation and spreading do not occur and both IgM and IgG molecules retain their dimensions. These results demonstrate that undulating wrinkled surfaces characteristic of flexible substrates can have significant effects on protein surface distribution with potential implications for design of materials for biological applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2085-2095
Number of pages11
JournalNanoscale Advances
Issue number7
Early online dateMar 10 2023
StatePublished - Mar 10 2023


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