An antibody-modified atomic force microscope (AFM) tip was used to detect conformational changes of fibronectin deposited on a poly(methyl methacrylate)/poly(acrylic acid) block copolymer compared to PMMA and a random poly(methyl methacrylate)/poly(acrylic acid) copolymer with an identical chemical composition. Based on the antibody-protein adhesive force maps and phase imaging, it was found that the nanomorphology of the triblock copolymer induces the desired conformation of fibronectin. This finding demonstrates that block copolymer nanomorphology can be used to regulate protein conformation and potentially cellular response.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70303-0