Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Probing Structure-antifouling Activity Relationship of Hydroxy-acrylic-based Polymers

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Spring 3-16-2014


Antifouling materials with different molecular structures have been designed, synthesized, and evaluated extensively. However, the structure-property relationship of antifouling materials is still poorly understood. In this work, we synthesize and characterize a series of hydroxy-acrylic-based polymer brushes from poly(2-hydroxyethyl acrylate) (polyHEA), poly(N-hydroxyethyl acrylamide) (polyHEAA), and poly(N-Acryloylamido-ethoxyethanol) (polyAAEE) using surface-initiated ATRP, where monomer structures of HEA, HEAA, and AAEE are only different by a pendant group. The antifouling performances of these polymers are then rigorously assessed and compared using protein adsorption assay from undiluted blood serum and plasma, cell adhesive assay, and bacterial growth assay. The effect of film thickness on antifouling performance is also evaluated and optimized. Our preliminary results have shown that very subtle structural changes in the hydrated pendant groups of polyacrylamides and polyacrylates can greatly improve antifouling ability and structural stability of these polymers, largely due to the enhanced surface hydration as quantified by molecular dynamics simulations. This work strives to provide a better fundamental understanding of structure-antifouling relationship of hydroxy-acrylic-based polymers and the structural-dependence of interfacial interactions between surfaces and biomolecules, allowing to the rational design of better antifouling materials with specific function.

Publication Title

Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society