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Open AccessReview

Recent Advances in Mussel-Inspired Synthetic Polymers as Marine Antifouling Coatings

by 1,2,* and 1,2
1
Precision Engineering, Materials & Manufacturing (PEM) Research Centre, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ash Lane, F91 YW50 Sligo, Ireland
2
Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ash Lane, F91 YW50 Sligo, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2020, 10(7), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10070653
Received: 15 June 2020 / Revised: 29 June 2020 / Accepted: 2 July 2020 / Published: 7 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Marine Antifouling Coatings)
Synthetic oligomers and polymers inspired by the multifunctional tethering system (byssus) of the common mussel (genus Mytilus) have emerged since the 1980s as a very active research domain within the wider bioinspired and biomimetic materials arena. The unique combination of strong underwater adhesion, robust mechanical properties and self-healing capacity has been linked to a large extent to the presence of the unusual α-amino acid derivative l-DOPA (l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) as a building block of the mussel byssus proteins. This paper provides a short overview of marine biofouling, discussing the different marine biofouling species and natural defenses against these, as well as biomimicry as a concept investigated in the marine antifouling context. A detailed discussion of the literature on the Mytilus mussel family follows, covering elements of their biology, biochemistry and the specific measures adopted by these mussels to utilise their l-DOPA-rich protein sequences (and specifically the ortho-bisphenol (catechol) moiety) in their benefit. A comprehensive account is then given of the key catechol chemistries (covalent and non-covalent/intermolecular) relevant to adhesion, cohesion and self-healing, as well as of some of the most characteristic mussel protein synthetic mimics reported over the past 30 years and the related polymer functionalisation strategies with l-DOPA/catechol. Lastly, we review some of the most recent advances in such mussel-inspired synthetic oligomers and polymers, claimed as specifically aimed or intended for use in marine antifouling coatings and/or tested against marine biofouling species. View Full-Text
Keywords: mussel adhesive proteins; l-DOPA; catechol; bio-inspired synthetic polymers; adhesion; marine antifouling mussel adhesive proteins; l-DOPA; catechol; bio-inspired synthetic polymers; adhesion; marine antifouling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Manolakis, I.; Azhar, U. Recent Advances in Mussel-Inspired Synthetic Polymers as Marine Antifouling Coatings. Coatings 2020, 10, 653. https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10070653

AMA Style

Manolakis I, Azhar U. Recent Advances in Mussel-Inspired Synthetic Polymers as Marine Antifouling Coatings. Coatings. 2020; 10(7):653. https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10070653

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manolakis, Ioannis; Azhar, Usaid. 2020. "Recent Advances in Mussel-Inspired Synthetic Polymers as Marine Antifouling Coatings" Coatings 10, no. 7: 653. https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10070653

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