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Sticking power of plant polyphenols used in new coatings
Date:8/22/2013

y developed a simple method for producing the multifunctional coatings.

They found that immersing objects into a saline solution of tannic acid or pyrogallol results in spontaneous coating deposition, just like what happened with the extracts and beverages. Using these inexpensive precursors instead of the extracts improves the speed and lowers the cost of the process, increasing its commercial viability, the researchers said.

"The stickiness of plant polyphenols is behind the so-called astringency effect that people can experience when drinking red wine high in tannins," Messersmith said. "The tannins stick to, or bind, saliva proteins, producing the sensation of puckering and dryness. We've put this stickiness to work in a novel way."

Polydopamine has shown great promise as a biomedical coating, but the plant polyphenol-based coatings can trump it in two important ways: The plant polyphenol-based coatings are colorless, so they don't alter a material's optical properties, and the compounds used to produce them are roughly 100 times cheaper. And that's in addition to their innate antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

The coatings also are only between 20 and 100 nanometers thick, depending on the material being coated, so would not alter biomedical instruments in a negative way.


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Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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