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Open AccessArticle

Simple Coatings to Render Polystyrene Protein Resistant

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Wellington 6140, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2018, 8(2), 55;
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultra-Low Biofouling Materials and Coatings)
PDF [1195 KB, uploaded 1 February 2018]


Non-specific protein adsorption is detrimental to the performance of many biomedical devices. Polystyrene is a commonly used material in devices and thin films. Simple reliable surface modification of polystyrene to render it protein resistant is desired in particular for device fabrication and orthogonal functionalisation schemes. This report details modifications carried out on a polystyrene surface to prevent protein adsorption. The trialed surfaces included Pluronic F127 and PLL-g-PEG, adsorbed on polystyrene, using a polydopamine-assisted approach. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) results showed only short-term anti-fouling success of the polystyrene surface modified with F127, and the subsequent failure of the polydopamine intermediary layer in improving its stability. In stark contrast, QCM-D analysis proved the success of the polydopamine assisted PLL-g-PEG coating in preventing bovine serum albumin adsorption. This modified surface is equally as protein-rejecting after 24 h in buffer, and thus a promising simple coating for long term protein rejection of polystyrene. View Full-Text
Keywords: polystyrene; DOPA; polydopamine; antifouling; polyethylene glycol; Pluronic; QCM-D polystyrene; DOPA; polydopamine; antifouling; polyethylene glycol; Pluronic; QCM-D

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Hecker, M.; Ting, M.S.H.; Malmström, J. Simple Coatings to Render Polystyrene Protein Resistant. Coatings 2018, 8, 55.

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