Thin films of vitronectin transferred by MAPLE

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Journal Article
Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, 2011, 105 (3), pp. 611 - 617
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We report on matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) transfer of intact and functional protein molecules from a cryogenic aliquot obtained by freezing a protein-saline buffer solution. Vitronectin (Vn), an extracellular matrix protein with distinctive active domains for cell attachment and signalization, was expelled from frozen targets by KrF*excimer laser irradiation, and then immobilized on substrates. Particulates surrounded by a dense matrix were observed by optical, profilometry and AFM studies. The composition preservation of MAPLE-deposited protein films versus drop-cast films was demonstrated by FTIR and immunostaining studies. The stability and integrity of Vn after transfer was shown by their interaction with human osteoprogenitor cells in which actin filaments stretched across the entire cell area and clear focal points with surface were formed. The absence of detectable degradation of protein structure after MAPLE immobilization could provide benefits to surface functionalization for biomedical applications. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
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