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[Report] Adaptive synergy between catechol and lysine promotes wet adhesion by surface salt displacement

In physiological fluids and seawater, adhesion of synthetic polymers to solid surfaces is severely limited by high salt, pH, and hydration, yet these conditions have not deterred the evolution of effective adhesion by mussels. Mussel foot proteins provide insights about adhesive adaptations: Notably, the abundance and proximity of catecholic Dopa (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) and lysine residues hint at a synergistic interplay in adhesion. Certain siderophores—bacterial iron chelators—consist of paired catechol and lysine functionalities, thereby providing a convenient experimental platform to explore molecular synergies in bioadhesion. These siderophores and synthetic analogs exhibit robust adhesion energies (Ead ≥−15 millijoules per square meter) to mica in saline pH 3.5 to 7.5 and resist oxidation. The adjacent catechol-lysine placement provides a “one-two punch,” whereby lysine evicts hydrated cations from the mineral surface, allowing catechol binding to underlying oxides. Authors: Greg P. Maier, Michael V. Rapp, J. Herbert Waite, Jacob N. Israelachvili, Alison Butler

Authors:   Greg P. Maier; Michael V. Rapp; J. Herbert Waite; Jacob N. Israelachvili; Alison Butler
Journal:   Science
Volume:   349
edition:   6248
Year:   2015
Pages:   628
DOI:   10.1126/science.aab0556
Publication date:   07-Aug-2015
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