Adsorption and decontamination of α-synuclein from medically and environmentally-relevant surfaces

Hanh T.M. Phan, Jason C. Bartz, Jacob Ayers, Benoit I. Giasson, Mathias Schubert, Keith B. Rodenhausen, Negin Kananizadeh, Yusong Li, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The assembly and accumulation of α-synuclein fibrils are implicated in the development of several neurodegenerative disorders including multiple system atrophy and Parkinson's disease. Pre-existing α-synuclein fibrils can recruit and convert soluble non-fibrillar α-synuclein to the fibrillar form similar to what is observed in prion diseases. This raises concerns regarding attachment of fibrillary α-synuclein to medical instruments and subsequent exposure of patients to α-synuclein similar to what has been observed in iatrogenic transmission of prions. Here, we evaluated adsorption and desorption of α-synuclein to two surfaces: stainless steel and a gold surface coated with a 11-Amino-1-undecanethiol hydrochloride self-assembled-monolayer (SAM) using in-situ combinatorial quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation and spectroscopic ellipsometry. α-Synuclein was found to attach to both surfaces, however, increased α-synuclein adsorption was observed onto the positively charged SAM surface compared to the stainless steel surface. Dynamic light scattering data showed that larger α-synuclein fibrils were preferentially attached to the stainless steel surface when compared with the distributions in the original α-synuclein solution and on the SAM surface. We determined that after attachment, introduction of a 1N NaOH solution could completely remove α-synuclein adsorbed on the stainless steel surface while α-synuclein was retained on the SAM surface. Our results indicate α-synuclein can bind to multiple surface types and that decontamination is surface-dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Adsorption
  • Decontamination
  • Protein conformation
  • Protein orientation
  • QCM-D
  • Spectroscopic ellipsometry
  • Stainless steel
  • α-Synuclein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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