High resolution XPS from treated and untreated (inset) polystyrene plates.
High resolution XPS from treated and untreated (inset) polystyrene plates.

The stable integration of a biological recognition element on a transducing substrate surface is the single most important step in the creation of a high-functioning sensor surface. The key factors affecting biotic and abiotic functionalities at the biointerface are both chemical and physical. In collaboration with colleagues in NRL's Plasma Physics Division, we have used electron beam-generated plasmas to modify polymer surfaces with fine control over both chemical functionality and physical features. Complex surface chemistries can be attained by simply varying the gas used, which provides the opportunity to endow the surface with specific and non-specifi performance features without surface roughening. In essence, this approach combines the benefits of a high temperature wet chemistry approach with all the benefits of dry methods, and allows us to dissect the roles of physical and chemical properties of biotic and abiotic components of biointerfaces.

Immobilization efficiency of biomolecules onto plasma-treated and untreated plates.
Immobilization efficiency of biomolecules onto plasma-treated and untreated plates.