Hydrophobin as a nanolayer primer that enables the fluorinated coating of poorly reactive polymer surfaces

Lara Gazzera, Claudio Corti, Pirrie Lisa, Arja Paananen, Alessandro Monfredini, Gabriella Cavallo, Simona Bettini, Gabriele Giancane, Ludovico Valli, Markus B. Linder (Corresponding Author), Giuseppe Resnati (Corresponding Author), Roberto Milani (Corresponding Author), Pierangelo Metrangolo (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    A new and simple method is presented to fluorinate the surfaces of poorly reactive hydrophobic polymers in a more environmentally friendly way using the protein hydrophobin (HFBII) as a nanosized primer layer. In particular, HFBII, via electrostatic interactions, enables the otherwise inefficient binding of a phosphate-terminated perfluoropolyether onto polystyrene, polypropylene, and low-density polyethylene surfaces. The binding between HFBII and the perfluoropolyether depends significantly on the environmental pH, reaching the maximum stability at pH 4. Upon treatment, the polymeric surfaces mostly retain their hydrophobic character but also acquire remarkable oil repellency, which is not observed in the absence of the protein primer. The functionalization proceeds rapidly and spontaneously at room temperature in aqueous solutions without requiring energy-intensive procedures, such as plasma or irradiation treatments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1500170
    Number of pages8
    JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
    Issue number14
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • coating
    • electrostatic interactions
    • hydrophobin
    • perfluorinated polymers
    • self-assembly


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