(475a) Molecular Understanding, Design and Development of Ultra Low Fouling Zwitterionic Materials
An important challenge in many applications, ranging from medical devices to ship hulls, is the prevention of nonspecific protein adsorption on surfaces. To address this challenge, our goals are twofold. First, we strive to provide a fundamental understanding of nonfouling mechanisms at the molecular level using an integrated experimental and simulation approach. Second, we aim to develop biocompatible and environmentally benign ultra low fouling materials based on the molecular principles we have learned. As a result, we have demonstrated that zwitterionic and mixed charge materials and surfaces are highly resistant to nonspecific protein adsorption, cell adhesion and bacteria adhesion/biofilm formation from complex media. Both simulation and experimental results show that the strong hydration of zwitterionic materials is responsible for their excellent nonfouling properties (JACS, 127, 14473, 2005. and Advanced Materials, 27, 15, 2015). Recent results show that zwitterionic materials induce no capsule formation upon implantation (Nature Biotechnology, 31, 553, 2013) and no immunological response in blood circulation (PNAS, 112, 12046, 2015) and are able to preserve protein (Nature Chemistry, 4, 59, 2012) and cell (Angewandte Chemie, 53, 12729, 2014) bioactivity. At present, zwitterionic materials, as alternatives to poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based materials, have been applied to a number of applications, including medical devices, drug delivery carriers, antimicrobial coatings, and marine coatings.