Supramolecular Antifouling Additives for Robust and Efficient Functionalization of Elastomeric Materials: Molecular Design Matters

Bastiaan D. Ippel, Henk M. Keizer, Patricia Y. W. Dankers

Published: 04/01/2019


The ultimate functionality of elastomeric materials can be largely influenced by the molecular design of antifouling additives that interact through directed hydrogen bonding bisurea motifs. Herein, three additives, composed of matching bisurea groups and antifouling oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) functionalities, are judiciously designed. The first additive is composed of one bisurea and one OEG, the second additive of one bisurea and two OEGs, and the third additive of two bisurea and one OEG. On solution‐cast films, non‐cell adhesive properties are dependent on the amount of incorporated OEG irrespective of the bisurea design; however, on 3D electrospun scaffolds only the additive that consists of two bisurea moieties connected via an OEG functionality ensures proper non‐cell adhesive properties. Interestingly, robust non‐cell adhesive properties are maintained, both with repeated cell seeding and after partial enzymatic degradation of the scaffold. These results highlight the importance of additive design in supramolecular functionalization and show that translation from simple 2D solution‐cast films to 3D electrospun scaffolds is not trivial with respect to additive presentation and functionality.

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