Functionalized surfaces for anti-fouling applications

Biofouling – also referred to as biocorrosion, membrane fouling or protein fouling – is known as the unwelcome adsorption and adhesion of biomolecules on the surface of implants, membranes and plastic vessels (cups or microplates) in aqueous or biological milieu. Once biomolecules have formed a layer on the surface, it is much easier for cells and microorganisms to subsequently attach to the surface and create so-called biofilms.


Particularly in the field of life science research, diagnostics, analytics or sensor technology as well as in medical technology biofouling can cause a significant loss of performance: cells or biomolecules interact unspecifically with the vessel surface which can lead to a higher measurement inaccuracy or a high background signal especially when working with small sample volumes. Vascular implants clog (thromboses) or implants risk being limited in their function by infections or inflammations and might even have to be removed.

PolyAn can surface functionalize polymer surfaces in a way that the unspecific adsorption of biomolecules and cell is minimized or even prevented altogether. Also the unspecific protein-adsorption of Albumin, Fibrin, Fibronectin and other “sticky proteins” can be effectively minimized. By using PolyAn’s Molecular Surface Engineering technology conventional polymers improve their biocompatible (please also see our functionalization services).

Tests with strongly adherent osteoblast cells have shown that cell adhesion can be reduced to a minimum when equipping microtiter-plates with PolyAn’s antifouling surfaces. Growth and vitality of cells were not affected. The modified surfaces repel the cells, but do not act cytotoxically. Tests to reduce the adsorption of thrombocytes have also been successfully conducted.