Protein adsorption plays a key role in the biocompatibility and functionality of biomaterials. The capability to control protein-surface interactions in a precise manner is highly desired to eliminate unwanted pathological responses such as coagulation or thrombosis, and to eliminate drug treatment, which is currently still required with the application of certain biomaterials.
Over the years great efforts have been made to control, predict and manipulate protein adsorption through surface chemical modification or surface structuring. In particular, it has been recognized that surfaces with nano-topographical features may greatly affect the protein adsorption and its biological activity.
Contrary to inorganic materials, like ceramics and their brittleness, good mechanical properties, easy handling and processing of synthetic polymers allow creating defined nanostructured surfaces with topographical features that mimic the length scale of protein molecules. The importance of such surfaces is appreciated even more taking into account the growing number of polymeric materials used nowadays in a variety of biomedical applications.
Here we present strategies to control protein adsorption on polymeric materials through the introduction of specific surface nanostructures. In particular, we will discuss the applicability of semi-crystalline to control the amount, conformation, and selectivity of protein adsorption.