SLIKS: Materials and Methods to Prepare Hydrophilic, Yet Slippery Solid Surfaces

Solid Liquid Interface to the Level of Hydrophilicity and Liquid Mobility

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have engineered a solid-liquid interface to the level of hydrophilicity and liquid mobility (i.e. slipperiness) that has never been done before. Such a combination allows contacting liquids to spread across the surface, have a high affinity between the surface and the liquid, AND allow liquids to slide on the surface. These hydrophilic AND slippery surface have instant applications in contact lenses, heat transfer, and biomedical protein desorption.


There have been many strategies to prepare slippery surfaces: Making the surface hydrophobic (liquid beads up on the surface), lubricating the surface, or covalently bonding hydrophobic brushes to the surface. However, none of these surfaces are hydrophilic. Such hydrophilic slippery surfaces have significant potential applications in enhanced condensation and boiling heat transfer, reduced protein adsorption, and improved contact lens comfort.


  • Higher condensation heat transfer coefficient
  • Significantly increases rate of colloidal nanoparticle desorption as compared to conventional superhydrophilic surfaces
  • Reduces protein
  • Improves long term comfort of contact lenses through:
  • Preventing de-wetting of the tear film without altering oxygen permeability
  • Greatly increasing mobility of the tear film


  • Contact lenses
  • Heat transfer
  • Biomedical protein desorption
  • Other instances in which both hydrophilicity and liquid mobility is a desired surface property
Last Updated: August 2021
Glass cover slip

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Arun Kota
Hamed Vahabi

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Steve Foster