Low friction thermoplastic polyurethane coatings imparted by surface segregation of amphiphilic block copolymers

Troels Røn, Irakli Javakhishvili, Seonghyeon Jeong, Katja Jankova, Seunghwan Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

This study aims to hydrophilize thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) surface via selective segregation of amphiphilic block copolymers from bulk TPU matrix, namely “inverted grafting-to” approach. To this end, hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) polymer chain was employed in either diblock (polycaprolactone-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PCL-b-PEG)) or triblock (poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(propylene glycol)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-b-PPO-b-PEG)) amphiphilic copolymer additives in polymer matrix. Greatly reduced water contact angles, as low as ca. 13°, from ≥90° for bare substrate proved the successful hydrophilization of TPU surface by this approach, although the degree of hydrophilization was significantly affected by the structure and concentration of embedded amphiphilic copolymers. Moreover, PEG-functionalized TPU surfaces in this approach displayed a reduction of coefficient of friction (COF) by two orders of magnitude. Given that TPU is a widely used material for urinary catheter or other medical devices, we demonstrated a first promising application as lubricious coating to TPU-based urinary catheter tubes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100477
JournalColloid and Interface Science Communications
Volume44
Number of pages5
ISSN2215-0382
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Amphiphilic block copolymers
  • Polymer brushes
  • Self-segregation
  • Surface lubrication
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)

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