Biomaterial Surface Hydrophobicity-Mediated Serum Protein Adsorption and Immune Responses

Rahul M. Visalakshan, Melanie N. Macgregor, Salini Sasidharan, Artur Ghazaryan, Agnieszka M. Mierczynska-Vasilev, Svenja Morsbach, Volker Mailänder, Katharina Landfester, John D. Hayball, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


The nature of the protein corona forming on biomaterial surfaces can affect the performance of implanted devices. This study investigated the role of surface chemistry and wettability on human serum-derived protein corona formation on biomaterial surfaces and the subsequent effects on the cellular innate immune response. Plasma polymerization, a substrate-independent technique, was employed to create nanothin coatings with four specific chemical functionalities and a spectrum of surface charges and wettability. The amount and type of protein adsorbed was strongly influenced by surface chemistry and wettability but did not show any dependence on surface charge. An enhanced adsorption of the dysopsonin albumin was observed on hydrophilic carboxyl surfaces while high opsonin IgG2 adsorption was seen on hydrophobic hydrocarbon surfaces. This in turn led to a distinct immune response from macrophages; hydrophilic surfaces drove greater expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines by macrophages, whilst surface hydrophobicity caused increased production of proinflammatory signaling molecules. These findings map out a unique relationship between surface chemistry, hydrophobicity, protein corona formation, and subsequent cellular innate immune responses; the potential outcomes of these studies may be employed to tailor biomaterial surface modifications, to modulate serum protein adsorption and to achieve the desirable innate immune response to implanted biomaterials and devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27615-27623
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • biomaterial
  • human serum
  • immune responses
  • plasma polymerization
  • protein adsorption
  • wettability


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomaterial Surface Hydrophobicity-Mediated Serum Protein Adsorption and Immune Responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this