Surface modification is a useful approach for improvement of the materials because it can add the desired property of the materials on their surface without changing their physical property. In this seminar, new polymers for surface modification developed in our group will be presented. The polymers were designed and synthesized by controlled polymerization toward oil-repelling surface and anti-biofouling surface.
(1) Highly efficient surface breeding of alkyl-fluoroalkyl copolymer for internal melt additive Addition of polymer additives into a base polymer is an efficient method for modification of the base material. Fluoroalkyl group-containing polymer additive may reduce the surface energy and wettability of substrates. Random and block copolymer consisting of alkyl and fluoroalkyl units were synthesized by controlled radical polymerization as internal melt additives. It was found that the block copolymer bled out more effectively from the base substrate and gave higher contact angles than random copolymer.
(2) Star polymer coatings for anti-biofouling surfaces Biomedical synthetic materials, such as PET, silicone, etc., are prone to adhesion of proteins, cells, and bacteria, causing functional failures. One of the promising approaches is covering surfaces of the devices with high dense polymer brush consisting of a hydrophilic polymer but it requires cumbersome chemical reactions on the surface. We employed a star polymer as a coating material which can easily add an anti-adhesion activity on the surface by a simple drop casting. These star polymer coatings prevent adhesion of proteins, cells, and bacteria.
(3) New blood compatible polymer coating based on tetrafluoroethylene/vinyl alcohol copolymer Poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) (pEVOH) is known as a blood compatible polymer and employed as a hemodialyzer membrane for more than 30 years. We examined poly(tetrafluoro-ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol)(p4FVOH)as a new blood compatible polymer. It was found that p4FVOH exhibited much higher inhibition against platelet adhesion than pEVOH. The inhibition was close to that of poly(methacryloyl phosphorylcholine) (pMPC) which is one of the most biocompatible polymer. Thus, p4FVOH is a promising material as a new blood compatible material.
Tsuyoshi Ando received his Ph.D. degree in 2000 from Kyoto University. His doctoral study was on the development of transition metal-catalyzed living radical polymerization systems under the direction of Professor Mitsuo Sawamoto. Then he joined the Kyoto University faculty, Department of Polymer Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, as an assistant professor in 2000. He worked on copolymerization of epoxides and CO2 with Professor Geoffrey W. Coates in Cornell University in 2005-2007. In 2007, he moved to Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, as an associate professor and joined Professor Masao Tanihara's group, biocompatible materials science laboratory. His research activities are focused on precision polymerizations and development of functional materials including biomedical materials through precise design of polymers.