Probing polydopamine adhesion to protein and polymer films: microscopic and spectroscopic evaluation

David Mallinson, Alexander B. Mullen, Dimitrios A. Lamprou

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53 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Polydopamine has been found to be a biocompatible polymer capable of supporting cell growth and attachment, and to have antibacterial and antifouling properties. Together with its ease of manufacture and application, it ought to make an ideal biomaterial and function well as a coating for implants. In this paper, atomic force microscopy was used to measure the adhesive forces between polymer-, protein- or polydopamine-coated surfaces and a silicon nitride or polydopamine-functionalised probes. Surfaces were further characterised by contact angle goniometry, and solutions by circular dichroism. Polydopamine was further characterised with infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. It was found that polydopamine functionalisation of the atomic force microscope probe significantly reduced adhesion to all tested surfaces. For example, adhesion to mica fell from 0.27 ± 0.7 nN nm-1 to 0.05 ± 0.01 nN nm-1. The results suggest that polydopamine coatings are suitable to be used for a variety of biomedical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3198-3209
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number5
Early online date15 Nov 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2017


  • polydopamine
  • proteins
  • atomic force microscopy
  • circular dichroism
  • adhesion


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