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Selected Publication:

Sumarokova, M; Iturri, J; Weber, A; Maares, M; Keil, C; Haase, H; Toca-Herrera, JL.
(2018): Influencing the adhesion properties and wettability of mucin protein films by variation of the environmental pH
SCI REP-UK. 2018; 8: FullText FullText_BOKU

Mucins, the main component of the mucus secretions of goblet and epithelial cells, are known for exhibiting a different behaviour in accordance with their surrounding environment (i.e. among others the environmental pH), which induces a drastic change in their measured mechanical properties. In this work, we have first employed Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in Force Spectroscopy mode to evaluate the adhesion of porcine mucin films at the nanoscale, and the changes caused in this particular factor by a pH variation between 7.0 and 4.0, both quite common values in biological conditions. Measurements also involved additional varying factors such as the indenting tip chemistry (hydrophobic vs hydrophilic), its residence time on the measured film (0,1 and/or 2 seconds), and increasing pulling rates (ranging from 0.1 up to 10 mu m/s). A second approach regarded the macroscale behaviour of the films, due to their potential applicability in the development of a new set of stimuli-responsive biomaterials. This was possible by means of complementary Wilhelmy plate method (to test the wetting properties) and cell proliferation studies on films previously exposed to the corresponding pH solution. According to our results, treatment with lowest pH (4.0) provides porcine mucin with a more hydrophilic character, showing a much stronger adhesion for analogous chemistries, as well as enhanced capability for cell attachment and proliferation, which opens new pathways for their future use and consideration as scaffold-forming material.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Iturri Jagoba
Sumarokova Maria
Toca-Herrera José Luis
Weber Andreas

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