In the study of multivalent interactions at interfaces, as occur for example at cell membranes, the density of the ligands or receptors displayed at the interface plays a pivotal role, affecting both the overall binding affinities and the valencies involved in the interactions. In order to control the ligand density at the interface, several approaches have been developed, and they concern the functionalization of a wide range of materials. Here, different methods employed in the modification of surfaces with controlled densities of ligands are being reviewed. Examples of such methods encompass the formation of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) and polymeric layers on surfaces. Particular emphasis is given to the methods employed in the study of different types of multivalent biological interactions occurring at the functionalized surfaces and their working principles.
- ligand density