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Eumelanin: A Neglected, Complex, Heterogeneous and Multifunctional Colloid

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Melanins are very ubiquitous among living organisms as natural pigments and play major biological roles. But they are also bioinspired materials with remarkable optical, mechanical and magnetic properties. The immersion of any kind of substrate in slightly basic dopamine or norepinephrine solutions in the presence of an oxidant like O2 allows to coat this substrate with a functional coating called “polydopamine,” which is indeed eumelanin. Hence the community of surface science may well have a universal coating platform at its disposition. It has not to be forgotten that eumelanin also forms in the solution in contact with the substrate to be coated. This eumelanin is indeed a colloidal aggregate which has a lot of fascinating properties, which is already used in many applications. In this short review, I will summarize the most important properties of eumelanins as colloidal particles and I will provide some new research goals to make broad use of this material in colloid and surface science, particularly as a biomaterial.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • Journal of Colloid Science and Biotechnology is an international multidisciplinary peer- reviewed journal covering all aspects of colloid science including colloids preparation, characterization, structure-property relationships, spectroscopy, chemical and physical properties and applications of colloids in biotechnology, medicine and pharmaceuticals. This journal deals with interdisciplinary research areas of chemistry, physics, biology, materials science, polymer science, nanotechnology covering all topics related to colloids such as latexes, emulsions, suspensions, micellar systems, gels, composites, hybrids, surfactants, aerosols, foams, minerals, soft matter, microfluidics, encapsulation processes of active molecules, biomolecules, surfacial and interfacial processes, catalysis, electrochemistry, theoretical aspects, computer simulations and colloids in biotechnology and medicine.
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