Catechol-Based Biomimetic Functional Materials and their Applications

D. Ruiz-Molina, F. Novio and C. Roscini

Bio- and Bioinspired Nanomaterials, , 255-276, (2014)
DOI: 10.1002/9783527675821.ch11

Abstract: In recent decades, biomaterials have inspired scientists from different fields to design and develop novel functional materials. One paradigmatic example of this fructiferous approach has been the fabrication of new bioinspired materials based on catechol structures. These aromatic derivatives bearing two ortho hydroxyl groups are ubiquitous in nature, where they display a large variety of functions. This functional versatility can be explained considering that catechols can act simultaneously as weak acids and easily oxidizable reducing agents, along with the fact that the presence of the two aromatic hydroxyl groups in vicinal positions makes them ideal for bidentate coordination and intermolecular noncovalent interactions. Intense research has been aimed at mimicking the natural roles of catechols by developing new functional materials. This chapter is centered on past, recent, and on-going studies involving the design, development, and biomimetic use of synthetic molecules and materials with catechols present in their structure, mainly in the fields of biomedicine, analytical, nanotechnology, and materials science, with special emphasis on these last two disciplines.