Bioinspired catecholic copolymers for antifouling surface coatings

Joon Hee Cho, Kadhiravan Shanmuganathan, Christopher J. Ellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


We report here a synthetic approach to prepare poly(methyl methacrylate)-polydopamine diblock (PMMA-PDA) and triblock (PDA-PMMA-PDA) copolymers combining mussel-inspired catecholic oxidative chemistry and atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). These copolymers display very good solubility in a range of organic solvents and also a broad band photo absorbance that increases with increasing PDA content in the copolymer. Spin-cast thin films of the copolymer were stable in water and showed a sharp reduction (by up to 50%) in protein adsorption compared to those of neat PMMA. Also the peak decomposition temperature of the copolymers was up to 43 C higher than neat PMMA. The enhanced solvent processability, thermal stability and low protein adsorption characteristics of this copolymer makes it attractive for variety of applications including antifouling coatings on large surfaces such as ship hulls, buoys, and wave energy converters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3794-3802
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 8 2013


  • PMMA
  • antifouling
  • coatings
  • melanin
  • polydopamine

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