Thermally cross-linked PNVP films as antifouling coatings for biomedical applications

Andrew Michael Telford, Michael James, Laurence Meagher, Chiara Neto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Protein repellent coatings are widely applied to biomedical devices in order to reduce the nonspecific adhesion of plasma proteins, which can lead to failure of the device. Poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PNVP) is a neutral, hydrophilic polymer with outstanding antifouling properties often used in these applications. In this paper, we characterize for the first time a cross-linking mechanism that spontaneously occurs in PNVP films upon thermal annealing. The degree of cross-linking of PNVP films and their solubility in water can be tailored by controlling the annealing, with no need for additional chemical treatment or irradiation. The physicochemical properties of the cross-linked films were investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, neutron and X-ray reflectometry, ellipsometry, and atomic force microscopy, and a mechanism for the thermally induced cross-linking based on radical formation was proposed. The treated films are insoluble in water and robust upon immersion in harsh acid environment, and maintain the excellent protein-repellent properties of unmodified PNVP, as demonstrated by testing fibrinogen and immunoglobulin G adsorption with a quartz crystal microbalance. Thermal cross-linking of PNVP films could be exploited in a wide range of biotechnological applications to give antifouling properties to objects of any size, essentially making this an alternative to high-tech surface modification techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2399 - 2408
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Cite this