The Role of Hydrogen Bonding in Peptoid-Based Marine Antifouling Coatings

Mikayla E. Barry, Emily C. Davidson, Chengcheng Zhang, Anastasia L. Patterson, Beihang Yu, Amanda K. Leonardi, Nilay Duzen, Ketaki Malaviya, Jessica L. Clarke, John A. Finlay, Anthony S. Clare, Zhan Chen, Christopher K. Ober, Rachel A. Segalman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The benefits of incorporating amphiphilic properties into antifouling and fouling-release coatings are well-established. The use of sequence-defined peptides and peptoids in these coatings allows precise control over the spacing and chemistry of the amphiphilic groups, but amphiphilic peptoids have generally outperformed analogous peptides for reasons attributed to differences in backbone structure. The present work demonstrates that the superior properties of peptoids relative to peptides are primarily attributable to a lack of hydrogen bond donors rather than to their secondary structure. A new amphiphilic peptoid was designed containing functional groups similar to those typically found on a hydrogen-bonding peptide backbone. This peptoid and a non-hydrogen-bonding peptoid analogue were incorporated as side chains in PDMS-based polymer scaffolds. Bioassays with the soft algal fouling organisms Ulva linza and Navicula incerta indicate that hydrogen bonding largely determines the differences seen between similar peptide and peptoid species, while sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy suggests that the presence of hydrogen bond donors enhances interfacial water structuring. This reduced initial U. linza adhesion, but attached algae were more strongly bound by hydrogen-bonding interactions. Consequently, amphiphilic peptoid materials lacking hydrogen bond donors are better suited to resist marine fouling, with enhanced release of U. linza and similar performance against N. incerta relative to hydrogen-bonding analogues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1287-1295
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 12 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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