Marine mussels secret protein-based adhesives, which enable them to anchor to various surfaces in a saline, intertidal zone. Mussel foot proteins (Mfps) contain a large abundance of a unique, catecholic amino acid, Dopa, in their protein sequences. Catechol offers robust and durable adhe-sion to various substrate surfaces and contributes to the curing of the adhesive plaques. In this article, we review the unique features and the key functionalities of Mfps, catechol chemistry, and strategies for preparing catechol-functionalized poly- mers. Specifically, we reviewed recent findings on the contributions of various features of Mfps on interfacial binding, which include coacervate formation, surface drying properties, control of the oxidation state of catechol, among other features. We also summarized recent developments in designing advanced biomimetic materials including coacervate-forming adhesives, mechanically improved nano- and micro-composite adhesive hydrogels, as well as smart and self-healing materials. Finally, we review the applications of catechol-functionalized materials for the use as biomedical adhesives, therapeutic applications, and antifouling coatings.
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