The biocompatibility of crosslinkable copolymer coatings containing sulfobetaines and phosphobetaines

S.L. West, Jonathan Salvage, E.J. Lobb, S.P. Armes, N.C. Billingham, A.L. Lewis, Geoff Hanlon, Andrew Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The comparison of copolymers containing sulfobetaine or phosphobetaine moieties for use as potential biocompatible coatings has been investigated. Two statistical copolymers were produced by a free radical polymerisation technique, one based on a sulfobetaine and the other on a phosphobetaine, both with a silyl group component to allow thermal crosslinking after coating. PMMA and glass discs were dip-coated with the polymers and their properties were compared to the uncoated controls. Bacterial adhesion to these coated materials was assessed using Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Human macrophages and granulocytes were used to assess the adhesion and activation of inflammatory cells whilst mouse 3T3 fibroblast cells were used to assess the propensity for the materials to support fibroblast cell adhesion. In all cases the polymer coatings reduced cell adhesion with respect to the base materials. The phosphobetaine-based copolymer coatings were shown to be markedly superior to the sulfobetaine-based copolymer coatings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1204
Number of pages10
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Polysulfobetaine
  • Polyphosphobetaine
  • Bioinert coatings
  • Cell adhesion


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