Issue 22, 2013

Biomimetic non-fouling surfaces: extending the concepts


In this study, we propose a substrate-independent biomimetic modification route for the creation of antifouling polymer brushes. This modification route consists of the formation/deposition of a biomimetic polydopamine anchor layer followed by a well-controlled surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization of antifouling polymer brushes initiated by 2-bromo-2-methylpropanoyl groups covalently attached to the hydroxyl and amine groups present in the anchor layer. In this way, we synthesized polymer brushes of methoxy- and hydroxy-capped oligoethylene glycol methacrylate, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and carboxybetaine acrylamide. Spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) indicated well-controlled polymerization kinetics of the brushes, thus the thickness of the ultra-thin films could be precisely tuned at a nanometer scale. The covalent structure and organization of the brushes grown from the polydopamine anchor layer were accessed by infrared reflection-adsorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) while the change in hydrophilicity caused by the presence of the brush was determined by dynamic water contact angle measurements. Surface plasmon resonance as well as ex situ IRRAS and SE measurements were applied to investigate the adsorption of model protein solutions and undiluted human blood plasma to the brushes. The biomimetic brushes completely suppressed the fouling from single protein solutions and reduced the fouling from plasma to less than 3% from the fouling measured on bare gold surfaces. The proposed modification procedure is non-destructive and does not require any chemical pre-activation or the presence of reactive groups on the substrate surface. Contrary to other antifouling modifications the coating can be performed on various classes of substrates and preserves its properties even in undiluted blood plasma. This work offers a promising technology for the facile fabrication of different surface-based biotechnological and biomedical devices able to perform tailor-made functions while resisting the fouling from the complex biological media where they operate.

Graphical abstract: Biomimetic non-fouling surfaces: extending the concepts

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
12 Mar 2013
16 Apr 2013
First published
17 Apr 2013

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013,1, 2859-2867

Biomimetic non-fouling surfaces: extending the concepts

O. Pop-Georgievski, C. Rodriguez-Emmenegger, A. D. L. S. Pereira, V. Proks, E. Brynda and F. Rypáček, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 2859 DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20346H

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