We develop bioactive interfaces through chemical derivatization of the surfaces of silica-based substrates. The surface layers are composed of amphipathic polymers that suppress nonspecific interactions and provide bioinert (or nonfouling) qualities of the interfaces. Furthermore, such bioinert layers do not compromise the properties of biological molecules attached to them. By attaching selected proteins to the nonfouling interfaces, we control their functionality, exclusively allowing the targeted biospecific interactions and suppressing the undesired nonspecific adsorption.
Coating surfaces with short oligoethylene glycols suppresses protein adsorption and cell adhesion. Such coatings, however, do not prevent surface adhesions of polymer or glass microspheres. We develop interfacial strategies for suppressing adhesion between micrometer-size objects.