Quantifying the Performance of Protein-Resisting Surfaces at Ultra-Low Protein Coverages using Kinesin Motor Proteins as Probes


  • P.K. and A.A. contributed equally to this work. H.H. gratefully acknowledges financial support from the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the DARPA-DSO Biomolecular Motors Program (FA9550-05-1-366). T.F. thanks the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation for support through a Feodor Lynen fellowship. J.L. gratefully acknowledges support from the NSF in form of a CAREER grant (DMR-0449462) and funding form the NSF under the MRI program (DMR 0420785).


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The binding kinetics of fluorescently labeled microtubules to kinesin-coated surfaces permits the determination of the density of kinesin motor proteins adhered to the surface in the range of 0.1 – 30 μm–2. This extreme sensitivity, corresponding to protein coverages of 0.004 – 1 ng cm–2, enables the characterization of advanced non-fouling coatings, such as (EG)3OH-terminated SAMs and PEGMA with applications in biomedical engineering and bionanotechnology.