Multivalent Anchoring and Cross-Linking of Mussel-Inspired Antifouling Surface Coatings


In this work, we combine nature’s amazing bioadhesive catechol with the excellent bioinert synthetic macromolecule hyperbranched polyglycerol (hPG) to prepare antifouling surfaces. hPG can be functionalized by different amounts of catechol groups for multivalent anchoring and cross-linking because of its highly branched architecture. The catecholic hPGs can be immobilized on various surfaces including metal oxides, noble metals, ceramics, and polymers via simple incubation procedures. The effect of the catechol amount on the immobilization, surface morphology, stability, and antifouling performance of the coatings was studied. Both anchoring and cross-linking interactions provided by catechols can enhance the stability of the coatings. When the catechol groups on the hPG are underrepresented, the tethering of the coating is not effective; while an overrepresentation of catechol groups leads to protein adsorption and cell adhesion. Thus, only a well-balanced amount of catechols as optimized and described in this work can supply the coatings with both good stability and antifouling ability.
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