Multivalent anchored and crosslinked hyperbranched polyglycerol monolayers as antifouling coating for titanium oxide surfaces


A set of new catecholic monolayer coatings was developed to improve the antifouling performance of TiO2 surfaces. To solve the problem of the weak charge-transfer interaction between a single catechol anchor and TiO2, multiple catechol groups were combined with hyperbranched polyglycerol (hPG) which is a distinct dendritic scaffold that exposes its multivalent anchor groups on the surface. Thus, multivalent catecholic hPGs can be easily prepared for surface modification. The immobilization of the compounds was monitored by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. Surface properties of the coatings were analyzed by water contact angle, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. The antifouling ability and stability were investigated by protein adsorption and cell adhesion. By increasing the number of catechol groups on the hPG scaffold, the stability and surface coverage could be significantly enhanced. Moreover, the inner-layer crosslinking of the coatings by grafting and initiating vinyl groups clearly improved their long-term stability. As a result, hPG with a catecholic functional degree of 10% (hPG-Cat10) and hPG with both catecholic and vinylic functional degree of 5% (hPG-Cat5-V5) were identified as the best catecholic hPGs to prepare bioinert and stable monolayer coatings on TiO2.
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