Significant Performance Enhancement of Polymer Resins by Bioinspired Dynamic Bonding

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1703026
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 18

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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