Efficient coatings and its copolymers for marine and bacterial fouling prevention

Researchers investigated molecular design, fabrication, and properties of thin-film coatings based on poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) (PMOX) and its copolymers to tackle problem of marine and bacterial fouling prevention.

The marine antifouling activity was evaluated against barnacles and algaes. Source: Christiane Heuser/pixelio.de -

They synthesised ultraviolet crosslinkable macromonomer poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) dimethylacrylate by cationic ring-opening polymerisation in a microwave reactor initiated by 1,4-dibromobutane. In order to study the charge effect of the PMOX coatings on the adhesion of fouling organisms, PMOX surfaces with negative, neutral, and positive ζ-potential values were prepared by copolymerisation with the positively charged monomer [2-(methacryloyloxy)-ethyl]trimethylammonium chloride.

Effective reduction of settlement

The coatings were stable in sea water for at least 1 month without significant reduction in the film thickness. The marine antifouling activity was evaluated against barnacle cyprids Amphibalanus amphitrite and algae Amphora coffeaeformis.

Results showed that PMOX coatings provide effective reduction of the settlement regardless of the molar mass and surface charge of the polymer. Bacterial adhesion test showed that PMOX coatings effectively reduce Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli adhesion. Owing to its good stability and antifouling activity PMOX has a great potential as antifouling coating for marine antifouling applications.

The study is published in: Polymer Chemistry.

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