An electric potential applied to an adsorbing substrate offers the possibility of controlling the structure of an adsorbed protein layer. This represents a powerful method of producing nanostructured coatings for biosensing, tissue engineering, enzymatic catalysis, bioseparation, and bioelectronics applications. Only in the past few years have techniques become available to measure the adsorbed layer properties in situ during formation. While several puzzling observations remain to be resolved, and while quantitative prediction of the effects of the applied potential, such as counterion binding, local pH enhancement, solvent structure, and charge heterogeneity remains sparse, the prospects are strong for a general understanding, in the not-to-distant future, of the influence of substrate electric potential on protein adsorption, and the engineering of protein coatings to near-exact specifications using voltage-based methods is certainly a realistic and laudable goal.
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