Sulfobetaine Methacrylate Polymers of Unconventional Polyzwitterion Architecture and Their Antifouling Properties

SchAnemann, E. and Koc, J. and Karthaüser, J.F. and Ozcan, O. and Schanzenbach, D. and Schardt, L. and Rosenhahn, A. and Laschewsky, A.

Volume: 22 Pages: 1494-1508
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.0c01705
Published: 2021

Combining high hydrophilicity with charge neutrality, polyzwitterions are intensely explored for their high biocompatibility and low-fouling properties. Recent reports indicated that in addition to charge neutrality, the zwitterion's segmental dipole orientation is an important factor for interacting with the environment. Accordingly, a series of polysulfobetaines with a novel architecture was designed, in which the cationic and anionic groups of the zwitterionic moiety are placed at equal distances from the backbone. They were investigated by in vitro biofouling assays, covering proteins of different charges and model marine organisms. All polyzwitterion coatings reduced the fouling effectively compared to model polymer surfaces of poly(butyl methacrylate), with a nearly equally good performance as the reference polybetaine poly(3-(N-(2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl)-N,N-dimethylammonio)propanesulfonate). The specific fouling resistance depended on the detailed chemical structure of the polyzwitterions. Still, while clearly affecting the performance, the precise dipole orientation of the sulfobetaine group in the polyzwitterions seems overall to be only of secondary importance for their antifouling behavior. ©

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