The ability to glycosylate surfaces has medical and diagnostic applications, but there is no technology currently recognized as being able to coat any surface without the need for prior chemical modification of the surface. Recently, a family of constructs called function-spacer-lipids (FSL) has been used to glycosylate cells. Because it is known that lipid-based material can adsorb onto surfaces, we explored the potential and performance of cell-labelling FSL constructs to “glycosylate” non-biological surfaces. Using blood group A antigen as an indicator, the performance of a several variations of FSL constructs to modify a large variety of non-biological surfaces was evaluated. It was found the FSL constructs when optimised could in a few seconds glycosylate almost any non-biological surface including metals, glass, plastics, rubbers and other polymers. Although the FSL glycan coating was non-covalent, and therefore temporary, it was sufficiently robust with appropriate selection of spacer and surface that it could capture anti-glycan antibodies, immobilize cells (via antibody), and withstand incubation in serum and extensive buffer washing, making it suitable for diagnostic and research applications.
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