Bioinspired Zwitterionic Surface Coatings with Robust Photostability and Fouling Resistance

Chun Jen Huang, Sz Hau Chu, Lin Chuan Wang, Chien Hung Li, T. Randall Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Great care has been paid to the biointerface between a bulk material and the biological environment, which plays a key role in the optimized performance of medical devices. In this work, we report a new superhydrophilic adsorbate, called l-cysteine betaine (Cys-b), having branched zwitterionic groups that give rise to surfaces and nanoparticles with enhanced chemical stability, biofouling resistance, and inertness to environmental changes. Cys-b was synthesized from the amphoteric sulfur-containing amino acid, l-cysteine (Cys), by quaternization of its amino group. Gold surfaces modified with Cys-b exhibited prominent repellence against the nonspecific adsorption of proteins, bacteria, and fibroblast cells. In addition, Cys-b existed in zwitterionic form over a wide pH range (i.e., pH 3.4 to 10.8), and showed excellent suppression in photoinduced oxidation on gold substrates. Furthermore, the modification of hollow Ag@Au nanoshells with Cys-b gave rise to nanoparticles with excellent colloidal stability and resistance to coordinative interaction with Cu2+. Taken together, the unique features of Cys-b offer a new nanoscale coating for use in a wide spectrum of applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23776-23786
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number42
StatePublished - 9 Oct 2015


  • antifouling coatings
  • biocompatible
  • bioinspired materials
  • nanomaterials
  • zwitterionic materials


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