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Codeposition of Levodopa and Polyethyleneimine: Reaction Mechanism and Coating Construction

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journal contribution
posted on 19.11.2020, 20:15 by Shang-Jin Yang, Ling-Yun Zou, Chang Liu, Qi Zhong, Zhao-Yu Ma, Jing Yang, Jian Ji, Peter Müller-Buschbaum, Zhi-Kang Xu
Mussel-inspired poly­(catecholamine) coatings from polydopamine (PDA) have been widely studied to design functional coatings for various materials. The chemical precursor of dopamine (DA), levodopa (l-DOPA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-l-alanine), is known as the main element of mussel adhesive foot protein, but it is relatively hard to be constructed into a desirable coating on a given material surface under the same conditions as those for DA. Herein, we report a codeposition strategy to achieve the rapid fabrication of mussel-inspired coatings by l-DOPAwith polyethyleneimine (PEI) and to deeply understand the formation mechanism of those aggregates and coatings from l-DOPA/PEI. DFT calculations, fluorescence spectra, nuclear magnetic resonance analysis, and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry identification demonstrate that the formation of l-DOPA/PEI aggregates is effectively accelerated by PEI crosslinking with those intermediates of oxidized l-DOPA, including l-DOPAquinone and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid as well as 5,6-dihydroxyindole, through Michael-addition and Schiff-base reactions. Therefore, we can facilely control the growth rate and the particle size of the l-DOPA/PEI aggregates in the deposition solution by adjusting the concentration of PEI. The coating formation rate of l-DOPA/PEI is four times faster than that of PDA and DA/PEI within 12 h. These l-DOPA/PEI coatings are demonstrated to display potential as structure colors, superhydrophilic surfaces, and antibacterial materials.