Author ORCID Identifier

Julie N. Renner

Document Type


Publication Date



Surface-grafted elastin has found a wide range of uses such as sensing, tissue engineering and capture/release applications because of its ability to undergo stimuli-responsive phase transition. While various methods exist to control surface grafting in general, it is still difficult to control orientation as attachment occurs. This study investigates using an electric field as a new approach to control the surface-grafting of short elastin-like polypeptide (ELP). Characterization of ELP grafting to gold via quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation, atomic force microscopy and temperature ramping experiments revealed that the charge/hydrophobicity of the peptides, rearrangement kinetics and an applied electric field impacted the grafted morphology of ELP. Specifically, an ELP with a negative charge on the opposite end of the surface-binding moiety assembled in a more upright orientation, and a sufficient electric field pushed the charge away from the surface compared to when the same peptide was assembled in no electric field. In addition, this study demonstrated that assembling charged ELP in an applied electric field impacts transition behavior. Overall, this study reveals new strategies for achieving desirable and predictable surface properties of surface-bound ELP.

Publication Title

Scientific Reports






USDA Award No. 2018-68011-28691; NSF Award No. 2045033


United States Department of Agriculture; National Science Foundation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Data found in the main text of this manuscript can be found on Harvard Dataverse:



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