Pegylated Metal-Phenolic Networks for Antimicrobial and Antifouling Properties

Hsiao Tung Zheng, Hoang Linh Bui, Subhendu Chakroborty, Yi Wang, Chun Jen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Metal-phenolic networks (MPNs) have recently attracted great interest in material chemistry and biomaterials because of their biocompatible, versatile, and multifunctional properties. In this paper, we describe a facile method for preparation of a designable antifouling, antimicrobial, and substrate-independent coating assembled from the coordination of metal ions and catecholic groups. Hydrophilic and catecholic polymers were synthesized by copolymerization of dopamine methacrylamide (DMA) and poly(ethylene glycol)methyl methacrylate (PEGMA) to afford p(PEGMA-co-DMA). To investigate the assembly and formation of MPN films, two different metal ions, that is, ferrous (FeII) and ferric (FeIII) ions, to react with p(PEGMA-co-DMA) were compared. The binding constants between iron ions and p(PEGMA-co-DMA) have been investigated by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis). Measurements with atomic force microscopy, contact angle goniometer, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were carried out to quantitatively analyze the surface morphology, wettability, and interfacial elemental compositions of coatings, respectively. Moreover, ellipsometric measurements were performed to obtain the film thickness and grafting density. In addition, the pH-responsive property of the MPN films was investigated at different pH values, showing fast disassembly of the networks at low pH. The antifouling properties of the obtained coatings were analyzed by exposing them to bacteria of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus epidermidis and NIH-3T3 fibroblasts under observation of fluorescence microscopy and cell imaging analysis. The findings suggest that the MPN from complexation of p(PEGMA-co-DMA) and metal ions provides excellent antifouling, pH-responsive, and biocompatible properties on a wide range of substrates. Furthermore, the released iron ions can effectively suppress the growth of bacteria. Accordingly, the new coating architecture offers a universal feature to control surface properties and functionalization for various applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8829-8839
Number of pages11
Issue number26
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2019


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