Anna Bratek-Skicki's Marie Curie fellowship


Anna has lead a project entitled “Mixed brushes of stimuli responsive polymers for the selective adsorption of proteins” as a Marie Curie Intra-European (IEF) Research Fellow. In this project, a novel strategy for selective protein adsorption from a mixture of proteins was developed. This strategy was based on the use of mixed polymer brushes sensitive to ionic strength and pH of the surrounding medium.

The project rested on the following steps:

  1. Design of mixed polymer brushes. The properties of such mixed brushes were tuned by adjusting pH and ionic strength of the medium. The influence of polymer properties (molecular weight, and degrees of dissociation and conformation through pH and ionic strength variations) on protein adsorption was also studied.
  2. Development of a procedure, based on time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), to distinguish different proteins adsorbed together on model interfaces.
  3. Use of this ToF-SIMS-based procedure to investigate the potential of the created mixed brushes to selectively adsorb one protein, at first from a mixture of proteins.

The results obtained in this work are significant for material science through the development of a robust procedure to prepare functionalized surfaces with designed properties to control protein adsorption. Creating surfaces for controlled protein adsorption is a major challenge in designing efficient “smart surfaces” which have potential applications in biotechnology and biomedical sciences.

Publications and Contributions


  1. A. vander Straeten, A. Bratek-Skicki, C. Dupont-Gillain, Exploiting Protein-Polyelectrolyte Interactions to Control and Tune Protein Immobilization at Interfaces: Applications in Biocatalysis and Separation Technology, AVS64th International Symposium & Exhibition, 29.10-02.11.2017, Tampa, USA, (oral presentation).
  2. A. Bratek-Skicki, A. Brzeska, C. Dupont-Gillain, Selective Protein Adsorption on Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Brushes Studied by ToF-SIMS and Gel Electrophoresis, 21st Conference on Ion Mass Spectrometry, 10-15.09.2017. Krakow, Poland, (oral presentation).
  3. A. Brzeska, A. Bratek-Skicki, C. Dupont-Gillain, Selective Protein Adsorption on PDMAEMA/PEO Brushes, 24.05.2017, Louvain-la-Neuve, 2017, (poster presentation).

Master Thesis: “Study of Selective Protein Adsorption on Stimuli-Responsive Polymer Brushes” prepared by Amanda Brzeska, École polytechnique de Louvain (EPL), 2016-2017, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.


  1. A. Bratek-Skicki, C. Dupont-Gillain, “Protein adsorption on stimuli-responsive mixed PDMAEMA/PEO polymer brushes”, The FEBS Journal, 2016, 283,1, 316.
  2. A. Bratek-Skicki, C. Dupont-Gillain, “Selective protein adsorption on stimuli-responsive brushes”, European Colloid & Interface Society, 04-09, 09, 2016r. Rome, Italy, (oral presentation).
  3. A. Bratek-Skicki, M. Delcroix, A. vander Straeten, C. Dupont-Gillain “Tunable protein immobilization at interfaces based on polyelectrolyte-protein interactions”, Biointerfaces International, 23-25. 08. 2016, Zurich, Switzerland, (oral presentation).
  4. A. Bratek-Skicki, C. Dupont-Gillain, “Ionic and pH-dependent protein adsorption on stimuli-responsive polymer brushes”, The 1st UCL Interplatform Workshop on Nanotechnology: From Materials to Devices, 29.01.2016, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (poster presenation).
  5. A. Bratek-Skicki, C. Dupont-Gillain, “Protein adsorption on mixed PEO/PAA polymer brushes- role of pH and ionic strength”, Ph.D. Student’s Day, 20.05.2016, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (poster presentation).
  6. A. Bratek-Skicki, C. Dupont-Gillain, “Smart Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications”, Euro Science Open Forum (ESOF), Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Actions ESOF Satellite Event, 24-27.07.2016, Manchester, United Kingdom (poster presenation).


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 659391.