Viscosity and interfacial properties in a mussel-inspired adhesive coacervate

Dong Soo Hwang, Hongbo Zeng, Aasheesh Srivastava, Daniel V. Krogstad, Matthew Tirrell, Jacob N. Israelachvili, J. Herbert Waite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chemistry of mussel adhesion has commanded the focus of much recent research activity on wet adhesion. By comparison, the equally critical adhesive processing by marine organisms has been little examined. Using a mussel-inspired coacervate formed by mixing a recombinant mussel adhesive protein (fp-151-RGD) with hyaluronic acid (HA), we have examined the nanostructure, viscosity, friction, and interfacial energy of fluid-fluid phase-separated coacervates using the surface forces apparatus and microscopic techniques. At mixing ratios of fp-151-RGD:HA resulting in marginal coacervation, the coacervates showed shear-thickening viscosity and no structure by cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). However, at the mixing ratio producing maximum coacervation, the coacervate showed shear-thinning viscosity and a transition to a bicontinuous phase by cryo-TEM. The shear-thinning viscosity, high friction coefficient (>1.2), and low interfacial energy (<1 mJ m-2) observed at the optimal mixing ratio for coacervation are promising delivery, spreading and adhesion properties for future wet adhesive and coating technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3232-3236
Number of pages5
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 21 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Viscosity and interfacial properties in a mussel-inspired adhesive coacervate'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this