Biomedical Uses of Sulfobetaine-Based Zwitterionic Materials

Francesco Zaccarian*, Matt Baker, Matthew J. Webber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Protein fouling can render a biomedical device dysfunctional,
and also serves to nucleate the foreign body reaction to an implanted material. Hydrophilic coatings have emerged as a commonly applied route to combat interface-mediated complications and promote device longevity and limited inflammatory response. While polyethylene glycol
has received a majority of the attention in this regard, coatings based on zwitterionic moieties have been more recently explored. Sulfobetaines in particular constitute one such class of zwitterions explored for use in
mitigating surface fouling, and have been shown to reduce protein
adsorption, limit cellular adhesion, and promote increased functional lifetimes and limited inflammatory responses when applied to implanted materials and devices. Here, we present a focused review of the literature surrounding sulfobetaine, beginning with an understanding of its chemistry and the methods by which it is applied to the surface of a biomedical device in molecular and polymeric forms, and then advancing to the many early demonstrations of function in a variety of biomedical applications. Finally, we provide some insights into the benefits and challenges presented by its use, as well as some outlook
on the future prospects for using this material to improve biomedical device practice by addressing interface-mediated complications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-357
Number of pages16
JournalOrganic Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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