Project TitleNitrogen-Free Plant Polyphenol Derived Coatings
Track Code2012-188
Short Description

Production and use of multifaceted surface coatings from polyphenols

#chemical #coatings #methods #environment #remediation


Northwestern University scientists have developed a method for depositing thin coatings of nitrogen-free polyphenolic compounds onto a wide range of surfaces for consumer, industrial, military and biomedical applications. In a single step, under high ionic strength conditions, thin polyphenol films can be deposited onto a variety of substrates (organic and inorganic, hydrophobic and hydrophilic, gold, steel, TeflonĀ® etc). This invention has enabled the exploitation of several important polyphenol properties for bioremediation and prevention of biofouling. In the future, more complex materials can be generated based on these polyphenol coatings because their chemical properties allow for stable associations to other compounds. Unlike current alternatives, these polyphenol coatings exhibit intrinsic antibacterial activity that can be exploited in medical device design. Furthermore, the high reduction/oxidation potential of this material can be exploited for electroless metallization of noble metals. Importantly, polyphenols described here can be generated from inexpensive and renewable resources, making this technology an attractive strategy for surface modifications.

TagsCHEMICAL: coatings, CHEMICAL: methods, environment: remediation
Posted DateJan 13, 2015 11:16 AM


Phillip B. Messersmith*

Tadas S. Sileika

Ran Zhang

Devin G. Barrett

Dong-Keun Lee


  • Heavy metal sequestration and capture
  • Antimicrobial coatings for medical devices
  • Biofouling prevention
  • Electroless metallization


  • Inexpensive
  • Colorless
  • Easily functionalized compared to polydopamine coating
  • Intrinsic antibacterial properties


IP Status

US and international patent application have been filed.

Marketing Contact

Vara Josyula, PhD

Invention Manager 

(p) 847.491.4456