We propose surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators as a complementary tool for conditioning film monitoring. Conditioning films are formed by adsorption of inorganic and organic substances on a substrate the moment this substrate comes into contact with a liquid phase. In the case of implant insertion, for instance, initial protein adsorption is required to start wound healing, but it will also trigger immune reactions leading to inflammatory responses.
The control of the initial protein adsorption would allow to promote the healing process and to suppress adverse immune reactions. Methods to investigate these adsorption processes are available, but it remains difficult to translate measurement results into actual protein binding events. Biosensor transducers allow user-friendly investigation of protein adsorption on different surfaces. The combination of several transduction principles leads to complementary results, allowing a more comprehensive characterization of the adsorbing layer.
We introduce SAW resonators as a novel complementary tool for time-resolved conditioning film monitoring. SAW resonators were coated with polymers. The adsorption of the plasma proteins human serum albumin (HSA) and fibrinogen onto the polymer-coated surfaces were monitored. Frequency results were compared with quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor measurements, which confirmed the suitability of the SAW resonators for this application.