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Poly(ethylene terephtalate) (PET)-based materials face general biofouling issues that we addressed by grafting a copolymer of glycidyl methacrylate and sulfobetaine methacrylate, poly(GMA-r-SBMA). The grafting procedure involved a dip-coating step followed by UV-exposure and led to successful grafting of the copolymer as evidenced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and zeta potential measurements. It did not modify the pore size nor the porosity of the PET membranes. In addition, their surface hydrophilicity was considerably improved, with a water contact angle falling to 30° in less than 20 s and 0° in less than 1 min. The effect of copolymer concentration in the coating bath (dip-coating procedure) and UV exposure time (UV step) were scrutinized during biofouling studies involving several bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, but also whole blood and HT1080 fibroblasts cells. The results indicate that if all conditions led to improved biofouling mitigation, due to the efficiency of the zwitterionic copolymer and grafting procedure, a higher concentration (15 mg/mL) and longer UV exposure time (at least 10 min) enhanced the grafting density which reflected on the biofouling results and permitted a better general biofouling control regardless of the nature of the biofoulant (bacteria, blood cells, fibroblasts).
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