The protein adsorption plays a very important role in biotechnology, biomolecular engineering and it is one of the main factors determining bio- and hemocompatibility of biomedical materials in medical applications, such as blood purification and wound healing. Here we report adsorption properties of two carbon-based materials, thermally expanded graphite (EGr) and graphene nanoplatelets (GnP), for bovine serum albumin (BSA), the most abundant blood plasma protein. The influence of the surface chemistry of expanded graphite on the mechanism of BSA adsorption was studied by using EGr modified with oxygen or nitrogen functionalities. Having low microporosity and the specific surface area in the range of 5 to 50 m 2/g, the expanded graphite exhibits high protein adsorption capacity at high equilibrium concentrations, which makes this material a potential candidate for biomedical applications as a carrier for high molecular weight (HMW) drug delivery or adsorption of HMW metabolites. At low equilibrium concentrations, the effect of specific protein-surface functional groups interaction reveals the differences between the adsorption affinity of different surface modified EGr materials to BSA. The adsorption of BSA on GnP with a specific surface area of 286 m2/g and a developed micro-/mesoporous structure did not follow the same mechanism as seen with EGr materials. At low equilibrium concentration of BSA, GnP exhibits high adsorption efficiency. An important finding is that no release of nanoparticles from expanded graphite adsorbents was observed, which makes them potentially suitable for direct contact with blood and other tissues while very small nanoparticles were noticed in the case of graphene nanoplatelets.
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- bovine serum albumin
- expanded graphite
- graphene nanoplatelets