Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Chemical and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kimberly W. Anderson


T. pallidum can survive a primary immune response and continue growing in the host for an extended period of time. T. pallidum is thought to bind serum fibronectin (FN) through Tp0483 on the surface to obscure antigens. A Tp0483 fragment (rTp0483) was adsorbed onto functionalized self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) with FN. FN capture by adsorbed rTp0483 depended greatly on surface chemistry with COO- groups being best for FN binding. Hemocompatibility was determined by analysis of plasma protein adsorption, intrinsic pathway activation, and platelet activation. rTp0483+FN bound an equal or lesser amount of fibrinogen (Fg), human serum albumin (HSA), and factor XII (FXII) compared to rTp0483 or FN alone and adsorption of rTp0483 prior to FN greatly decreased platelet activation. Inhibition of protein binding and platelet activation suggested an attenuated hematological response. Biocompatibility of rTp0483 and FN coated surfaces was characterized by macrophage uptake of protein coated polystyrene microspheres (PSMs), macrophage adsorption onto protein coated surfaces, cytotoxic effects of adsorbed rTp0483 and FN, and TNF-α and NO2- release in macrophages stimulated with rTp0483 and FN adsorbed and in solution. Addition of FN to rTp0483 on plain and COO- PSMs reduced phagocytosis compared to rTp0483 alone and on plain PSMs compared to FN alone. On plain PSMs addition of FN to adsorbed rTp0483 decreased TNF-α generation. Adsorption of rTp0483 before FN on large, flat COO- surfaces decreased macrophage adsorption and TNF-α and NO2- generation. High concentrations of rTp0483 were mildly cytotoxic to macrophages. FN binding by Tp0483 on T. pallidum likely plays a role in antigenic disguise and rTp0483+FN coatings may potentially inhibit FN and rTp0483 specific interactions with macrophages. Molecularly imprinted polymer coatings were also examined for biomaterial development. Fouling resistant 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) was imprinted with bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein templates to facilitate BSA specific binding. The BSA template was constructed and verified and BSA specific binding quantified using quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). BSA imprinted coatings were determined to bind significantly more BSA than nonfouling MPC controls demonstrating the feasibility of targeted protein capture.