Nanometer-thick hyaluronic acid self-assemblies with strong adhesive properties

Significance Statement

High molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HA) was used to tailor the adhesion of model surfaces. Nanometer-thick films of hyaluronic acid were assembled by alternate adsorption of hyaluronic acid (anionic) and poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (cationic) using the Layer-by-Layer (LbL) deposition technique. The adhesive properties of the thin LbL films of hyaluronic acid were investigated using contact adhesion testing. An increase by a factor 100 in the work of adhesion was achieved from one to three bilayers deposited on the model surfaces.

Nanometer-Thick Hyaluronic Acid Self-Assemblies with Strong Adhesive Properties . Global Medical Discovery

Journal Reference

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015;7(28):15143-7.

Marais A, Pendergraph S,  Wågberg L.

Division of Fibre Technology, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, and §The Wallenberg Wood Science Centre, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.


The adhesive characteristics of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH)/hyaluronic acid (HA) self-assemblies were investigated using contact adhesion testing. Poly(dimethylsiloxane) spheres and silicon wafers were coated with layer-by-layer (LbL) assemblies of PAH/HA. No increase in adhesion was observed when surfaces covered with dried LbL films were placed in contact. However, bringing the coated surfaces in contact while wet and separating them after drying resulted in an increase by a factor of 100 in the work of adhesion (from one to three bilayers). Herein we discuss the adhesion in PAH/HA and PAH/poly(acrylic acid) assemblies. PAH/HA assemblies have potential application as strong biomedical adhesives.

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About the author

Dr. Andrew Marais received his PhD from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) of Stockholm, Sweden, in 2015. His research focuses on surface modification of cellulosic materials using physical adsorption of polyelectrolytes and nanoparticles.