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Antifouling surface coatings

In this work we modify the physicochemical properties of a surface by coating it with a thin polymer coating. We use so called polymer brushes where each polymer chain is attached to the material substrate through a covalent bond. This gives rise to a brush-like structure with properties that can be tailored through selection of building blocks during the synthesis. By altering the chemical composition of the tethered chains, as well as their density, surfaces with a range of properties can be made, for example polyanionic, polycationic or zwitterionic surfaces.

In our work we use polymer brush coatings as model substrates to investigate how fundamental physicochemical properties of a surface influence bacterial adhesion and biofilm formaton. We also study and investigate to what extent different polymer brush cotaings can be used as antifouling surface coatings, and we have performed some work aimed to functionalize brush coatings to make bioactive surfaces in collaboration with Dr Julien Gautrot at Queen Mary University of London.

Publications of interest:

2010, Protein resistant NTA-functionalised polymer brushes for selective and stable immobilisation of histidine-tagged proteins

2013, The surface charge of anti-bacterial coatings alters motility and biofilm architecture

2014, Surface-Initiated Polymer Brushes in the Biomedical Field: Applications in Membrane Science, Biosensing, Cell Culture, Regenerative Medicine and Antibacterial Coatings, (Review)

2018, Polymer Brushes and Microorganisms

2018, Characterization of clinically relevant model bacterial strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa for anti-biofilm testing of materials