Titanium and stainless steel were modified with dopamine for the immobilization of biomolecules, epidermal growth factor (EGF). First, the treatment of metal surfaces with a dopamine solution under different pH conditions was investigated. At higher pH, the dopamine solution turned brown and formed precipitates. Treatment of the metals with dopamine at pH 8.5 also resulted in the development of brown color at the surface of the metals. The hydrophobicity of the surfaces increased after treatment with dopamine, independently of pH. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the formation of a significant amount of an organic layer on both surfaces at pH 8.5. According to ellipsometry measurements, the organic layer formed at pH 8.5 was about 1000 times as thick as that formed at pH 4.5. The amount of amino groups in the layer formed at pH 8.5 was also higher than that observed in the layer formed at pH 4.5. EGF molecules were immobilized onto the dopamine-treated surfaces via a coupling reaction using carbodiimide. A greater amount of EGF was immobilized on surfaces treated at pH 8.5 compared with pH 4.5. Significantly higher growth of rat fibroblast cells was observed on the two EGF-immobilized surfaces compared with non-immobilized surfaces in the presence of EGF. The present study demonstrated that metals can become bioactive via the surface immobilization of a growth factor and that the effect of the immobilized growth factor on metals was greater than that of soluble growth factor.
- Epidermal growth factor
- Stainless steel