Mussels can attach themselves to nearly all types of hard surfaces in wet environments. Such attractive adhesive ability of mussels is believed to rely on the amino acid composition of proteins found near the plaque–substrate interface. Dopamine (DA) is identified as a simplified mimic of mussel proteins, which are rich in 3,4-dihydroxy-l-phenylalanine and lysine, because it contains both catechol and amine functional groups. In this work, we have first applied this bioinspired adhesive to tackle a dye leaching problem of colorimetric oxygen indicator films, which are widely used to ensure the absence of oxygen inside the package of oxygen-sensitive materials. Simple immersion of packaging films into a DA solution resulted in poly(DA) deposition, decreasing the water contact angle of the films from 105° to 65°. The poly(DA) coating could reduce the thionine leakage of the UV-activated oxygen indicator film. The effects of poly(DA) coating were found to be dependent on the DA solution pH, the coating time, and the DA concentration. The film resistant to dye leaching lost its dye color by 5 min UVB irradiation and regained the color in the presence of oxygen, demonstrating that it functioned successfully as UV-activated oxygen indicators. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29: 513–519, 2013
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