Surface interactions with polymers or proteins are extensively studied in a range of industrial and biomedical applications to control surface modification, cleaning, or biofilm formation. In this study we compare surfactant interactions with protein-coated silica surfaces differing in the degree of curvature (macroscopically flat and colloidal nanometric spheres). The interaction with a flat surface was probed by means of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) while dynamic light scattering (DLS) was used to study the interaction with colloidal SiO2
(radius 15 nm). First, the adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA) with both SiO2
surfaces to create a monolayer of coating protein was studied. Subsequently, the interaction of these BSA-coated surfaces with a non-ionic surfactant (a decanol ethoxylated with an average number of eight ethoxy groups) was investigated. A fair comparison between the results obtained by these two techniques on different geometries required the correction of SPR data for bound water and DLS results for particle curvature. Thus, the treated data have excellent quantitative agreement independently of the geometry of the surface suggesting the formation of multilayers of C10
PEG over the protein coating. The results also show a marked different affinity of the surfactant towards BSA when the protein is deposited on a flat surface or individually dissolved in solution.
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