Dopamine: Just the Right Medicine for Membranes

Hao Cheng Yang, Ruben Z. Waldman, Ming Bang Wu, Jingwei Hou, Lin Chen, Seth B. Darling*, Zhi Kang Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Mussel-inspired chemistry has attracted widespread interest in membrane science and technology. Demonstrating the rapid growth of this field over the past several years, substantial progress has been achieved in both mussel-inspired chemistry and membrane surface engineering based on mussel-inspired coatings. At this stage, it is valuable to summarize the most recent and distinctive developments, as well as to frame the challenges and opportunities remaining in this field. In this review, recent advances in rapid and controllable deposition of mussel-inspired coatings, dopamine-assisted codeposition technology, and photoinitiated grafting directly on mussel-inspired coatings are presented. Some of these technologies have not yet been employed directly in membrane science. Beyond discussing advances in conventional membrane processes, emerging applications of mussel-inspired coatings in membranes are discussed, including as a skin layer in nanofiltration, interlayer in metal-organic framework based membranes, hydrophilic layer in Janus membranes, and protective layer in catalytic membranes. Finally, some critical unsolved challenges are raised in this field and some potential pathways are proposed to address them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1705327
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 21 2018


  • Janus membranes
  • membranes
  • metal-organic framework membranes
  • nanofiltration
  • photocatalysis
  • polydopamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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