Materials Science

An Antisticking Adhesive

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Science  28 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5615, pp. 1949
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5615.1949b

A common problem with artificial biomedical implants is the progressive nonspecific attachment of cells or proteins onto surfaces, referred to as fouling. A common strategy for overcoming this problem is to coat the surface with an immobilized layer of polyethylene glycol (PEG); however, getting the PEG to adhere properly is not easy. Dalsin et al. have turned to mussels, which are known for their ability to stick to boat hulls and water pipes. The mussels secrete protein adhesives, which contain 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa) and rapidly harden to form a solid adhesive plaque. Conjugates of PEG and dopa or PEG and a peptide-dopa construct adhered to gold and titanium surfaces and decreased cell absorption by up to 98%; this protective effect persisted for 2 weeks in culture. — MSL

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja0284963 (2003).

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