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Home  > Raw materials & technologies  > Applications  > Protective & Marine coatings  > New method to limit marine fouling

Wednesday, 30 September 2020
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications, Protective & Marine coatings

New method to limit marine fouling

Friday, 3 September 2010

Medetomidine, a veterinary medicine, has been shown to prevent barnacle larvae from attaching to the ship hull, researchers of the University of Gothenburg report.

Fouling of hulls is a major problem for world shipping Source: LimnoMar

Fouling of hulls is a major problem for world shipping Source: LimnoMar

Fouling of hulls is a major problem for world shipping, for private leisure craft as well as large cargo ships. The University of Gothenburg has attempted to develop new, environmentally friendly methods that can limit marine fouling in several large research projects. One of these focuses on the substance medetomidine, a veterinary medicine that has been shown to prevent barnacle larvae from attaching to the hull. Now researchers of the university are able to explain why. In cooperation with colleagues at the universities of Turku and Helsinki, Professor Anders Blomberg has succeeded in identifying and describing the gene that controls how barnacles sense and react to medetomidine. They have found that medetomidine activates special receptors in barnacle larvae. The receptors emit a signal that causes the larva to swim away from the boat surface, instead of attaching to it.

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