Charles Sadron Institute (ICS)

Nowadays, bottom-up processes of organized matter in order to design microstructured surfaces aare a well-established way finding an increasing number of applications in various areas. In the PECMAT team, the work of Fouzia Boulmedais' group has been centered on the idea of developing thin coatings along two research axis.

1. Electrodeposition of polymer and polyphenol films and their application in the field of biosensors

The self-assembly of molecular architectures that grow spontaneously from a surface are rare and still represent a challenge in materials science today. Polymer electrodeposition is a process that consists of imposing an electrical potential or current to immobilize one or more polymers on a conductive surface and thus build a film exclusively from the substrate. Few electrodeposition mechanisms are currently known and these can be divided into two categories: (i) electrodeposition by establishing weak interactions either by polyelectrolyte precipitation, or self-assembly of physical gels or proteins, and (ii) electrodeposition by formation of covalent bonds between monomers, electropolymerization. In 2011, our group introduced the concept of "one-pot morphogen driven self-assembly" (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2011, 50, 4374-4377) using click-chemistry and generalized it to other chemical reaction or interactions (ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2017, 9, 28117). The main application of this process was the biosensing.

2. Study of polyelectrolyte films, using natural and biosourced polymer, and their application in the field of biomaterials, in particular as antibacterial coatings.

Development of multifunctional coatings has drawn a great attention in the last few decades because of their broad spectrum of applications. Among the surface modification techniques, the Layer-by-Layer (LbL) method is a versatile way to functionalize surfaces by the alternated deposition of oppositely charged polyelectrolytes generally by dip coating. The coherence of these films is usually due to the electrostatic interactions between the chains. Performed at room temperature using aqueous solutions, the LbL method allows the development of biocompatible and bioactive thin films, in particular with antimicrobial property. Our group contribute to this field by (i) developing biobased PEM films to favour cell adhesion and proliferation and (ii) by introducing several strategies to obtain antibacterial coatings that were used latter on by other researchers.

Our Motivation - Nowadays the “green” manufacturing of materials and their recycling or biodegradation is an important topic. Mainly focused in health application, our group is strongly involved in the design of sustainable materials and coatings and working with industrials to create sustainable production processes.

Within the framework of the project, our group will develop nanofilms based on polymers modified by catechols. The nanofilms will be obtained from aqueous solutions at room temperature. Two deposition processes will be used: the layer-by-layer method by alternate deposition of polymers with opposite charges (Langmuir 2015, 31, 12856; ACS App. Mat. Int 2020, 12, 22601) and the electro-crosslinking by applying an electric potential on an electrode (Langmuir 2015, 31, 13385; Mater. Adv. 2022, 3, 2222). The optimization of the nanofilm deposition, their physicochemical characterization will be carried out as well as their antibacterial properties. A study on the degradability of the different coatings developed in the project will be done using enzymes.

Contact details of the project partner

Dr. Fouzia Boulmedais

Website of ICS
Website of the team