Reverse Actuation of Polyelectrolyte Effect for in Vivo Antifouling

Woojin Choi, Sohyeon Park, Jae Sung Kwon, Eun Young Jang, Ji Yeong Kim, Jiwoong Heo, Young Deok Hwang, Byeong Su Kim, Ji Hoi Moon, Sungwon Jung, Sung Hwan Choi, Hwankyu Lee, Hyo Won Ahn, Jinkee Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Zwitterionic polymers have extraordinary properties, that is, significant hydration and the so-called antipolyelectrolyte effect, which make them suitable for biomedical applications. The hydration induces an antifouling effect, and this has been investigated significantly. The antipolyelectrolyte effect refers to the extraordinary ion-responsive behavior of particular polymers that swell and hydrate considerably in physiological solutions. This actuation begins to attract attention to achieve in vivo antifouling that is challenging for general polyelectrolytes. In this study, we established the sophisticated cornerstone of the antipolyelectrolyte effect in detail, including (i) the essential parameters, (ii) experimental verifications, and (iii) effect of improving antifouling performance. First, we find that both osmotic force and charge screening are essential factors. Second, we identify the antipolyelectrolyte effect by visualizing the swelling and hydration dynamics. Finally, we verify that the antifouling performance can be enhanced by exploiting the antipolyelectrolyte effect and report reduction of 85% and 80% in ex and in vivo biofilm formation, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6811-6828
Number of pages18
JournalACS Nano
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 27

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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