Hyperbranched fluoropolymer-polydimethylsiloxane-poly(ethylene glycol) cross-linked terpolymer networks designed for marine and biomedical applications: heterogeneous nontoxic antibiofouling surfaces.
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Synthesis of terpolymer coatings composed of hyperbranched fluoropolymers cross-linked with bisamino-propyl poly(ethylene glycol) and bisamino-propyl polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) was performed to generate antibiofouling surfaces. Nanoscale imaging and surface spectroscopy confirmed that this system possessed complex surface topographies and chemical compositions. Surface complexity was determined to be due to molecular interactions, phase segregation, and compositional gradients arising between the three components. A clear difference in surface behavior was observable before and after exposure to water. Antibiofouling characteristics were investigated by bovine serum albumin (BSA) adsorption studies; the terpolymer coating displayed a 60% greater resistance to protein adsorption in comparison to the fouling of a commercial antibiofouling silicone coating. The unique surface topography, topology, and chemical heterogeneity expressed at a variety of scales provide a robust regime for the generation of hardy, complex surfaces known to incorporate characteristics appropriate for antibiofouling applications. Thorough assessment of thermal responses and mechanical properties in relevant environments demonstrated a formulation platform immediately appropriate for consideration in marine and in vivo applications.