Investigating antifouling properties of surfaces featuring zwitterionic polymer coatings

Zwitterionic polymer coatings can serve as a promising new class of anti-fouling materials.

The zwitterionic-functionalised polymer substrates exhibit reduced adhesion properties against S. epidermidis cells. Source: John Wiley & Sons -

Researchers from the University of Hamburg, Germany, introduced novel surface functionalisation routes employing hybrid polymers for the preparation of zwitterionic coatings.

Introducing zwitterionic films on silicon surfaces

Zwitterionic thin films containing α-amino phosphonic acid moieties were successfully introduced on silicon surfaces and their antifouling properties were investigated. Initially, the substrates were modified with a hybrid polymer, composed of poly(methylsilsesquioxane) (PMSSQ) and poly(4-vinyl benzaldehyde) (PStCHO). Next, a Kabachnik–Fields post-polymerisation modification (sur-KF-PMR) of the functionalised aldehyde surfaces was conducted with different amines and dialkyl phosphonates.

After subsequent deprotection reaction of dialkyl phosphonates, the obtained zwitterionic surfaces were characterised by various techniques and the researchers found excellent antifouling.

The study is published in: Macromolecular Bioscience.

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