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Department of Biomedical Engineering


Catechol is a key constituent in mussel adhesive proteins and is responsible for strong adhesive property and crosslinking formation. Plant-based polyphenols are also capable of chemical interactions similar to those of catechol and are inherently antimicrobial. This review reports a series of catechol-based antimicrobial polymers classified according to their antimicrobial mechanisms. Catechol is utilized as a surface anchoring group for adhering monomers and polymers of known antimicrobial properties onto various types of surfaces. Additionally, catechol's ability to form strong complexes with metal ions and nanoparticles was utilized to sequester these antimicrobial agents into coatings and polymer matrices. During catechol oxidation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) is generated as a byproduct, and the use of the generated ROS for antimicrobial applications was also introduced. Finally, polymers that utilized the innate antimicrobial property of halogenated catechols and polyphenols were reviewed.

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/). Publisher’s version of record:

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Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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