Functional Layer-by-Layer Thin Films of Inducible Nitric Oxide (NO) Synthase Oxygenase and Polyethylenimine: Modulation of Enzyme Loading and NO-Release Activity

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ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces


Nitric oxide (NO) release counteracts platelet aggregation and prevents the thrombosis cascade in the inner walls of blood vessels. NO-release coatings also prevent thrombus formation on the surface of blood-contacting medical devices. Our previous work has shown that inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) films release NO fluxes upon enzymatic conversion of the substrate L-arginine. In this work, we report on the modulation of enzyme loading in layer-bylayer (LbL) thin films of inducible nitric oxide synthase oxygenase (iNOSoxy) on polyethylenimine (PEI). The layer of iNOSoxy is electrostatically adsorbed onto the PEI layer. The pH of the iNOSoxy solution affects the amount of enzyme adsorbed. The overall negative surface charge of iNOSoxy in solution depends on the pH and hence determines the density of adsorbed protein on the positively charged PEI layer. We used buffered iNOSoxy solutions adjusted to pHs 8.6 and 7.0, while saline PEI solution was used at pH 7.0. Atomic force microscopy imaging of the outermost layer shows higher protein adsorption with iNOSoxy at pH 8.6 than with a solution of iNOSoxy at pH 7.0. Graphite electrodes with PEI/iNOSoxy films show higher catalytic currents for nitric oxide reduction mediated by iNOSoxy. The higher enzyme loading translates into higher NO flux when the enzyme-modified surface is exposed to a solution containing the substrate and a source of electrons. Spectrophotometric assays showed higher NO fluxes with iNOSoxy/PEI films built at pH 8.6 than with films built at pH 7.0. Fourier transform infrared analysis of iNOSoxy adsorbed on PEI at pH 8.6 and 7.0 shows structural differences of iNOSoxy in films, which explains the observed changes in enzymatic activity. Our findings show that pH provides a strategy to optimize the NOS loading and enzyme activity in NOS-based LbL thin films, which enables improved NO release with minimum layers of PEI/NOS.


This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant EB019739 to M.B. and by support from CSU. B.G. and G.A. recognize DRA awards from the Office of Sponsored programs of Cleveland State University.