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Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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Open Access

Settlement and adhesion of algal cells to hexa(ethylene glycol)-containing self-assembled monolayers with systematically changed wetting properties

  • Soeren Schilp1,
  • Alexander Kueller1,
  • Axel Rosenhahn1,
  • Michael Grunze1,
  • Michala E. Pettitt2,
  • Maureen E. Callow2 and
  • James A. Callow2

Received: 14 September 2007

Accepted: 12 October 2007


Protein resistance of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of hexa(ethylene glycols) (EG6) has previously been shown to be dependent on the alkoxyl end-group termination of the SAM, which determines wettability [S. Herrwerth, W. Eck, S. Reinhardt, and M. Grunze, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 9359 (2003)]. In the present study, the same series of hexa(ethylene glycols) was used to examine the correlation between protein resistance and the settlement and adhesion of eukaryotic algal cells, viz., zoospores of the macroalga Ulva and cells of the diatom Navicula, which adhere to the substratum through the secretion of protein-containing glues. Results showed that the initial settlement of Ulva zoospores was highest on the hydrophilic EG6OH but that cells were only weakly adhered. The number of Ulva zoospores and Navicula cells firmly adhered to the SAMs systematically increased with decreasing wettability, as shown for the protein fibrinogen. The data are discussed in terms of hydration forces and surface charges in the SAMs.