Development of Self-healable Omniphobic Materials towards Fouling Prevention of Complex Fluids

Project: Research

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The development of biomaterials and biotechnology in the past decades allows large scale usageof healthcare devices. However, the application of such devices involves some challenges,particularly the surface fouling-associated infection and device failure. Application of foulingresistant materials can partially solve the problems, but the damage or defects generated duringoperations largely suppress material functions. Therefore, developing anti-fouling materials thatbehave both self-cleaning (the attached foulants can be easily removed at natural workingconditions) and self-healing (capable to restore function from damage or defect appeared duringworking) abilities will be highly appreciated for the next generation biomedical devices.Over the past decades, the development of anti-fouling materials and underlying mechanisms hasgained huge progress. However, current methods of tuning surface chemistry and surfacetopography can only partially solve the fouling problems, and it is still a challenge to thecomplete prevention of complex fluids. Moreover, a key function of self-healing ability ismissing in almost all current anti-fouling materials, for which a slight mechanical damage maypermanently destroy surface structure and the anti-fouling properties.This proposal directly addresses the challenge in developing biomaterials that can inhibit surfacefouling in a broad range of complex fluids with excellent self-healing abilities. The PI’s recentresearch on fouling-resistant materials has demonstrated that, the lubricant-swollen, slipperypolymer gels could be another candidate for complete prevention of complex fluids. Targeting atdeveloping slippery material with both anti-fouling and self-healing abilities, a new design ofomniphobic materials is herein proposed based on self-healable supramolecular composite. Theultimate goals of this project are to elucidate the design and fabrication strategy of developingself-healable omniphobic materials, and to explore such feasibility for the fouling prevention ofcomplex fluids in various biomedical environments. We will address the molecular mechanismof how the suparmolecular composite interacts with biomolecules. The proposed project wouldnot only advance our understanding on designing self-healable interfacial materials, but alsoopen up a new avenue for the rational design of anti-fouling materials which will benefit thedesign and application of fouling resistant biomedical devices and many other biomedicalapplications.


Project number9048041
Grant typeECS
Effective start/end date1/01/1619/12/19

    Research areas

  • supramolecular gel,self-healing material,anti-fouling,omniphobicity,