Bioinspired Cationic-Aromatic Copolymer for Strong and Reversible Underwater Adhesion

Sujoy Das, Gleb Vasilyev, Patrick Martin, Eyal Zussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing new underwater glue adhesives with robust and repeatable adhesion to various surfaces is promising and useful in marine life and medical treatments. In this work, we developed a novel glue based on a copolymer with a cation-co-aromatic sequence where the cationic units contain both catechol and positively charged sites. The glue consists of a crosslinked copolymer of poly(2-hydroxy-3-phenoxypropyl acrylate-co-3-(5-(3,4 dihydroxyphenyl)-4-oxo-3 N-pentyl)imidazolium) bromide in dimethyl sulfoxide. Solidification of the glue, triggered by contact with water, undergoes a coacervation stage and causes a drastic growth of its mechanical properties over time. The glue demonstrates fast-developing, strong, and repeatable underwater adhesion to different materials and can maintain its strength for a long time. The adhesion strength tends to increase with the surface energy of the substrate material, to a maximum value of 160 kPa found in plywood. Experiments conducted in aqueous media with different pH and ionic strengths, including physiological conditions and seawater, showed an even stronger adhesion than that evolved in deionized water. Thus, the developed glue is a promising candidate for use in marine life, tissue adhesives, and other freshwater and saline water applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26287-26294
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number22
StatePublished - 8 Jun 2022


  • adhesion
  • catechol
  • coacervate
  • imidazolium
  • underwater
  • wet

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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