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Synthesis and characterisation of a mussel-inspired hydrogel film coating for biosensors

Millican, Jonathan M. and Bittrich, Eva and Caspari, Anja and Pöschel, Kathrin and Drechsler, Astrid and Freudenberg, Uwe and Ryan, Timothy G. and Thompson, Richard L. and Pospiech, Doris and Hutchings, Lian R. (2021) 'Synthesis and characterisation of a mussel-inspired hydrogel film coating for biosensors.', European polymer journal., 153 . p. 110503.


Mussel-inspired, catechol-containing monomers are being increasingly utilised to design versatile, adhesive, functional copolymers. This work reports the synthesis and detailed characterisation of a novel terpolymer comprising dopamine methacrylamide (DMA), in order to produce surface coatings capable of acting as biosensors for, e.g., toxins. DMA is copolymerised with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) using free radical polymerisation. The copolymers are subsequently deposited as a thin film using spin-coating. It is demonstrated that a terpolymer comprising HEMA, GMA and DMA can immobilise an IgG antibody on the film surface. The terpolymer therefore has the potential to be used as a coating in biosensing devices. It is also demonstrated that the presence of DMA impacts the copolymer properties. In-situ ellipsometry is used to confirm the important role of the catechol group on copolymer adhesion and significant desorption was observed in the absence of DMA.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 06 May 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2021 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:03 May 2021
Date deposited:29 July 2021
Date of first online publication:06 May 2021
Date first made open access:06 May 2023

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