Mild and Effective Polymerization of Dopamine on Keratin Films for Innovative Photoactivable and Biocompatible Coated Materials

Tamara Posati, Claudia Ferroni, Annalisa Aluigi, Andrea Guerrini, Francesca Rossi, Francesca Tatini, Fulvio Ratto, Emanuela Marras, Marzia Bruna Gariboldi, Anna Sagnella, Giampiero Ruani, Roberto Zamboni, Greta Varchi, Giovanna Sotgiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Mussel-inspired polydopamine (PD) coating represents a promising route for constructing functional materials and finely tuning or completely changing their surface properties. In this work, a mild and effective method to realize the deposition of PD on keratin-based films is reported. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), generated by keratin films doped with a photosensitizer, e.g., Azure A (AzA), upon UV–vis and vis-near IR irradiation, are exploited to obtain the PD coating. Interestingly, the use of vis-near IR irradiation leads to an increased production of ROS by AzA resulting in a greater PD deposition. Compared to uncoated keratin films, the PD-keratin coated materials show a granular but homogeneous surface and an increased hydrophilicity, maintaining the ROS generation ability of AzA. This work demonstrates a useful method to effectively and rapidly functionalize with PD materials that are sensitive to temperature, pH and UV light, such as keratin. The proposed strategy allows obtaining new multifunctional biomaterials of potential interest in tissue engineering and drug delivery; in particular, the use of PD-keratin films for near IR laser bonding of ophthalmic tissue, which is a representative case in wound healing purpose, is shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700653
JournalMacromolecular Materials and Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • keratin-based materials
  • photosensitizers
  • photothermal activity
  • polydopamine coatings
  • surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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