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Short Poster Lecture

Bio-inspired polymeric surfaces with controllable underwater adhesion properties

Monday (19.03.2018)
20:45 - 20:50
Part of:

Nowadays one of the formidable challenges in material science is engineering of durable adhesive bonds to wet surfaces. Most of synthetic well-known and widely used adhesive systems suffer from lack or complete failure of their adhesive properties when they brought to a moist environment. On the other hand, several natural organisms are known to provide strong controllable underwater adhesion, for instance marine animals like mussels and limpets [1]. Therefore, it is essential to derive inspiration and knowledge from these biological systems, using this knowledge to develop performing synthetic materials. However, design of polymeric-based systems, which can be utilized as smart glue under water, is still highly challenging.

The present work aims at the development and design of bio-inspired polymeric films with controllable and reversible underwater adhesion properties. We have investigated switchable adhesive systems based on thermo-responsive polymer poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) along with pH-responsive materials such as poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) or catechol-bearing monomer dopamine methacrylamide. We have varied surface chemical composition (from 1% to 50% of charged units) and architecture (random, block and bottle-brush copolymers) of the brush system, in order to achieve pronounced switching behavior. Investigation of the swelling and surface charge properties were performed by ellipsometric and electro kinetic measurements. Moreover, AFM colloidal probe technique (AFM CP) and probe tack testing measurements [2] were conducted under water to gain deep insights into adhesion between thin films based on mono-and bi-component polymeric brush materials and oppositely charged probe.


[1] Waite, Journal of Experimental Biology, 2017, 220, 517-530.

[2] Synytska, A.; Svetuschkina, E.; Martina, D.; Bellmann, C.; Simon, F.; Ionov, L.; Stamm, M.; Creton, C.; Langmuir, 2012, 28, 16444-16454.




Ugo Sidoli
Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF)
Additional Authors:
  • Dr. Ivan Raguzin
    Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e. V.
  • Jakob Mühldorfer
    Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e. V.
  • Dr. Alla Synytska
    Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung Dresden e. V.

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