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Flexible and Stable Omniphobic Surfaces Based on Biomimetic Repulsive Air-Spring Structures

Seo, Dongkwon, Cha, Suk-kyong, Kim, Gijung, Shin, Hyunku, Hong, Soonwoo, Cho, Yang Hyun, Chun, Honggu, Choi, Yeonho
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.6 pp. 5877-5884
air, biomimetics, blood, blood coagulation, coatings, contact angle, durability, friction, hydrophilicity, liquids, medical equipment, microstructure, models, silicon, toxicity, wettability
In artificial biological circulation systems such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, surface wettability is a critical factor in blood clotting problems. Therefore, to prevent blood from clotting, omniphobic surfaces are required to repel both hydrophilic and oleophilic liquids and reduce surface friction. However, most omniphobic surfaces have been fabricated by combining chemical reagent coating and physical structures and/or using rigid materials such as silicon and metal. It is almost impossible for chemicals to be used in the omniphobic surface for biomedical devices due to durability and toxicity. Moreover, a flexible and stable omniphobic surface is difficult to be fabricated by using conventional rigid materials. This study demonstrates a flexible and stable omniphobic surface by mimicking the re-entrant structure of springtail’s skin. Our surface consists of a thin nanohole membrane on supporting microstructures. This structure traps air under the membrane, which can repel the liquid on the surface like a spring and increase the contact angle regardless of liquid type. By theoretical wetting model and simulation, we confirm that the omniphobic property is derived from air trapped in the structure. Also, our surface well maintains the omniphobicity under a highly pressurized condition. As a proof of our concept and one of the real-life applications, blood experiments are performed with our flat and curved surfaces and the results including contact angle, advancing/receding angles, and residuals show significant omniphobicity. We hope that our omniphobic surface has a significant impact on blood-contacting biomedical applications.