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Antifouling Medical and Marine Coatings

SpecialChem / Joseph E. Sabol – Dec 3, 2012

Novel silicone polymer coatings, specifically designed to exhibit amphiphilicity and molecular mobility, were developed to synergistically reduce adhesion events of secreted marine bioadhesives and blood proteins. Adhesion of marine and blood components follows from the silicone hydrophobicity. To limit adhesion events, conventional poly(ethylene glycol)-silane control coatings, consisting of a poly(ethylene glycol) [PEG] segment separated from the reactive group by a propyl spacer, e.g., (EtO)3Si-(CH)2))3-(CH)2CH)2O)n-OCH)3), were replaced by novel PEG-silanes with flexible, hydrophobic siloxane tethers. These novel silanes are both amphiphilic and molecularly mobile, features which have been independently shown to reduce protein adhesion. PEG-silanes were then incorporated into silicone coatings via bulk crosslinking and surface-grafting.

In marine applications, the material would be applied as a paint to the ship hull, while medical applications would be surface grafted to the medical device. This technology offers a simple strategy to create medical and marine coatings with complex surfaces that are effective at preventing initial adhesion processes, such as those involving marine bioadhesives and blood plasma proteins. The combined amphiphilicity and molecular mobility of these building blocks - new PEG-silane amphiphiles - is the driving force behind the efficacy of these coatings.

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