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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Significant Performance Enhancement of Polymer Resins by Bioinspired Dynamic Bonding.

  • Author(s): Seo, Sungbaek
  • Lee, Dong Woog
  • Ahn, Jin Soo
  • Cunha, Keila
  • Filippidi, Emmanouela
  • Ju, Sung Won
  • Shin, Eeseul
  • Kim, Byeong-Su
  • Levine, Zachary A
  • Lins, Roberto D
  • Israelachvili, Jacob N
  • Waite, J Herbert
  • Valentine, Megan T
  • Shea, Joan Emma
  • Ahn, B Kollbe
  • et al.

Marine mussels use catechol-rich interfacial mussel foot proteins (mfps) as primers that attach to mineral surfaces via hydrogen, metal coordination, electrostatic, ionic, or hydrophobic bonds, creating a secondary surface that promotes bonding to the bulk mfps. Inspired by this biological adhesive primer, it is shown that a ≈1 nm thick catecholic single-molecule priming layer increases the adhesion strength of crosslinked polymethacrylate resin on mineral surfaces by up to an order of magnitude when compared with conventional primers such as noncatecholic silane- and phosphate-based grafts. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm that catechol groups anchor to a variety of mineral surfaces and shed light on the binding mode of each molecule. Here, a ≈50% toughness enhancement is achieved in a stiff load-bearing polymer network, demonstrating the utility of mussel-inspired bonding for processing a wide range of polymeric interfaces, including structural, load-bearing materials.

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