5 years ago

Tunicate-Inspired Gallol Polymers for Underwater Adhesive: A Comparative Study of Catechol and Gallol

Tunicate-Inspired Gallol Polymers for Underwater Adhesive: A Comparative Study of Catechol and Gallol
Hirotaka Ejima, Naoko Yoshie, Kyungmo Sung, Chaehoon Kim, Kan Zhan
Man-made glues often fail to stick in wet environments because of hydration-induced softening and dissolution. The wound healing process of a tunicate inspired the synthesis of gallol-functionalized copolymers as underwater adhesive. Copolymers bearing three types of phenolic groups, namely, phenol, catechol, and gallol, were synthesized via the methoxymethyl protection/deprotection route. Surprisingly, the newly synthesized copolymers bearing gallol groups exhibited stronger adhesive performances (typically 7× stronger in water) than the widely used catechol-functionalized copolymers under all tested conditions (in air, water, seawater, or phosphate-buffered saline solution). The higher binding strength was ascribed to the tridentate-related interfacial interaction and chemical cross-linking. Moreover, gallol-functionalized copolymers adhered to all tested surfaces including plastic, glass, metal, and biological material. In seawater, the performance of gallol-functionalized copolymer even exceeds the commercially available isocyanate-based glue. The insights from this study are expected to help in the design of biomimetic materials containing gallol groups that may be utilized as potential bioadhesives and for other applications. The results from such a kind of comparable study among phenol, catechol, and gallol suggests that tridentate structure should be better than bidentate structure for bonding to the surface.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00921

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00921

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