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J Colloid Interface Sci. 1999 May 15;213(2):525-545.

Study of a Solvated Adsorbed Gelatin Layer Using a Modified Force Microscope.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BY, United Kingdom


The interaction energies between gelatin-coated surfaces at various electrolyte and pH conditions are reported. The surfaces are of glass and are negatively charged under all conditions used here. Gelatin is a polyampholyte, with an isoelectric pH (IEP) of approximately 4.9. At low pH the gelatin molecules have a net positive charge, and thus the polyampholyte tends to adsorb with a relatively flat conformation. As the pH is increased the strong attractive interaction between the surface and the polyampholyte decreases as more negative charges and then fewer positive charges appear on the polyampholyte, and so the gelatin extends away from the surface. On changing electrolyte concentrations after adsorption no effect was seen at the IEP, but the layer was observed to swell at more alkaline pHs. This is consistent with the net minimum charge situation on the polymer under these conditions. Changing the adsorption conditions was seen to have an effect, and this is attributed to the different affinities of the gelatin chain to the surface depending on the solution chemistry. Results obtained when the gelatin was initially adsorbed on one surface or two were similar, suggesting that the gelatin transfers rapidly from one surface to another. The importance of adsorption conditions as well as current conditions is discussed.


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