Antifouling properties of layer by layer DNA coatings

Guruprakash Subbiahdoss, Guanghong Zeng, Hüsnü Aslan, Jakob Ege Friis, Joseph Iruthayaraj, Alexander N. Zelikin, Rikke Louise Meyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Fouling is a major concern for solid/liquid interfaces of materials used in different applications. One approach of fouling control is the use of hydrophilic polymer coatings made from poly-anions and poly-cations using the layer-by-layer (LBL) method. The authors hypothesized that the poly-anionic properties and the poly-phosphate backbone of DNA would provide anti-biofouling and anti-scaling properties. To this end, poly(ethyleneimine)/DNA LBL coatings against microbial and inorganic fouling were developed, characterized and evaluated. DNA LBL coatings reduced inorganic fouling from tap water by 90% when incubated statically or under flow conditions mimicking surfaces in heat exchangers. The coatings also impaired biofilm formation by 93% on stainless steel from tap water, and resulted in a 97% lower adhesion force and reduced initial attachment of the human pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on glass. This study demonstrates a proof of concept that LBL coatings with poly-anions harboring phosphate groups can address fouling in several applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • antifouling
  • biofilms
  • Biofouling
  • calcite
  • calcium carbonate
  • DNA
  • heat exchangers
  • scaling


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