In a nutshell

The core of this technology is to be found in the functionalizable polymeric backbone that enables different functional and binding groups to be inserted using the same, stable and reproducible coupling scheme. In particular, by appropriately selecting and combining binding groups, it is possible to tune adhesion on selected substrates or to obtain a “universal molecule” that can adhere on many different substrates

Coating description

Spontaneously assembling monomolecular coating

Substrate examples

Metal, metal oxides, plastic, silicone rubber, natural latex

Immobilization mechanism

  • Adsorption from aqueous buffers
  • Binding via a combination of different binding groups (multimodal)
  • self-limiting to the formation of a monolayer.

Standard functionalities

  • Polymers carrying non-bio-functionalized PEG or PMOXA side-chains (methoxy terminated) are used for protection against biofouling, i.e. for the reduction of protein uptake, or providing a cell- and bacteria-resistant coating.
  • Azide-functionalized PEG serves as the basis for further click reactions.
  • Bio-functionalized polymers for use in bio-sensing (Biotin and nitrilotriacetic acid –NTA version) or cell culture (RGD peptide) are in preparation.


Life sciences

  • Functionalization of sensing-device chips for diagnostics and bio-analytics
  • Blocking of cell adhesion
  • Blocking of protein-non-specific signals in microscopy applications
  • Non-reactive background for proteomics applications
  • Non-reactive background for cell-culture applications
  • Patterned biochips for controlled uptake of DNA/RNA strains, proteins, or cells
  • Generation of stealth micro particles
  • Preparation of high-contrast slides for fluorescence measurements
  • Patterning of bio-chips
  • Optimization of the wetting behaviour of microfluidic devices
  • Lubricating additive for water-based lubrication

Medical technologies

  • Anti-bacterial, cell-resistant treatment of metallic or ceramic medical devices
  • Improved tissue integration with bioactive coatings, using peptides or growth factors
  • Surfaces with selective biological response to different cell types


  • Serrano, A.; Zürcher, S.; Tosatti, S.; Spencer, N. D. Imparting Nonfouling Properties to Chemically Distinct Surfaces with a Single Adsorbing Polymer: A Multimodal Binding Approach. Rapid Commun. 2016, 37 (7), 622–629 DOI: 10.1002/marc.201500683
  • „Eines für alles“, ETH News 15.02.2016 by Fabio Bergamin
  • „Das Moleküle für alle Fälle“, Tages Anzeiger, Ausgabe vom 15.02.2016, Seite 36, Tameida AG