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Keywords:

  • biomedical applications;
  • carbon nanotubes;
  • porous materials;
  • surface modification

Abstract

Carbon films are synthesized by templating of anodic aluminum oxide films. These carbon materials exhibit nanochannels with controlled diameter and length. Selected chemical treatments are done to tailor the surface chemistry. The adsorption capacities of bovine serum albumin and cytochrome c are measured by temperature-programmed desorption with mass spectrometry (TPD-MS) analysis and with conventional biological assays. The first method allows quantification of the proteins that exhibit strong interactions with the surface, while the second one is used to obtain the total adsorption capacity. Moreover, the TPD-MS profiles, which are related to the structural modifications of the proteins during the adsorption, show that strong interactions take place with hydrophobic surfaces. When oxygenated functions are present, the adsorption capacity increases and the nature of the interactions is modified. The ratio of irreversible to reversible adsorption is significantly different for the two proteins, and is slightly related to the surface chemistry. The influence of nanochannel size is studied: below 50 nm, the coverage ratio shows that access to the porosity is limited by diffusion in the channel and by pore plugging, in agreement with the strong interactions of proteins with the carbon surface.