Sample preparation in quartz crystal microbalance measurements of protein adsorption and polymer mechanics

Gwen E. Depolo, Emily Schafer, Kazi Sadman, Jonathan Rivnay, Kenneth R. Shull*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this study, we present various examples of how thin film preparation for quartz crystal microbalance experiments informs the appropriate modeling of the data and determines which properties of the film can be quantified. The quartz crystal microbalance offers a uniquely sensitive platform for measuring fine changes in mass and/or mechanical properties of an applied film by observing the changes in mechanical resonance of a quartz crystal oscillating at high frequency. The advantages of this approach include its experimental versatility, ability to study changes in properties over a wide range of experimental time lengths, and the use of small sample sizes. We demonstrate that, based on the thickness and shear modulus of the layer deposited on the sensor, we can acquire different information from the material. Here, this concept is specifically exploited to display experimental parameters resulting in mass and viscoelastic calculations of adsorbed collagen on gold and polyelectrolyte complexes during swelling as a function of salt concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere60584
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number155
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Biosensing
  • Chemistry
  • Issue 155
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • Polymer mechanics
  • Protein binding
  • QCM
  • Quartz crystal microbalance
  • Rheology
  • Swelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


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