Systematic Comparison of Zwitterionic and Non-Zwitterionic Antifouling Polymer Brushes on a Bead-Based Platform

Esther van Andel, Stefanie C. Lange, Sidharam P. Pujari, Edwin J. Tijhaar, Maarten M.J. Smulders, Huub F.J. Savelkoul, Han Zuilhof*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Nonspecific adsorption of biomolecules to solid surfaces, a process called biofouling, is a major concern in many biomedical applications. Great effort has been made in the development of antifouling polymer coatings that are capable of repelling the nonspecific adsorption of proteins, cells, and micro-organisms. In this respect, we herein contribute to understanding the factors that determine which polymer brush results in the best antifouling coating. To this end, we compared five different monomers: two sulfobetaines, a carboxybetaine, a phosphocholine, and a hydroxyl acrylamide. The antifouling coatings were analyzed using our previously described bead-based method with flow cytometry as the read-out system. This method allows for the quick and automated analysis of thousands of beads per second, enabling fast analysis and good statistics. We report the first direct comparison made between a sulfobetaine with opposite charges separated by two and three methylene groups and a carboxybetaine bearing two separating methylene groups. It was concluded that both the distance between opposite charges and the nature of the anionic groups have a distinct effect on the antifouling performance. Phosphocholines and simple hydroxyl acrylamides are not often compared with the betaines. However, here we found that they perform equally well or even better, yielding the following overall antifouling ranking: HPMAA ≥ PCMA-2 ≈ CBMAA-2 > SBMAA-2 > SBMAA-3 ≫ nonmodified beads (HPMAA being the best).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181–1191
Issue number5
Early online date28 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Systematic Comparison of Zwitterionic and Non-Zwitterionic Antifouling Polymer Brushes on a Bead-Based Platform'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this