Modification of the Adhesive Properties of Silicone-Based Coatings by Block Copolymers

The improvement of the (bio)­adhesive properties of elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coatings is reported. This is achieved by a surface modification consisting of the incorporation of block copolymers containing a PDMS block and a poly­(2-(dimethylamino)­ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) block in a PDMS matrix, followed by matrix cross-linking and immersion of the obtained materials in water. Contact angle measurements (CA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed the presence of the PDMAEMA block at the surface, drastic morphology changes, and improved adhesion properties after immersion in water. Finally, underwater bioadhesion tests show that mussels adhere only to block copolymer-filled coatings and after immersion in water, i.e., when the PDMAEMA blocks have been brought to the coating surface. These observations highlight the significant role of hydrophilic groups in the surface modification of silicone coatings.