Barnacle reattachment: a tool for studying barnacle adhesion.
Standard approaches for measuring adhesion strength of fouling organisms use barnacles, tubeworms or oysters settled and grown in the field or laboratory, to a measurable size. These approaches suffer from the vagaries of larval supply, settlement behavior, predation, disturbance and environmental stress. Procedures for reattaching barnacles to experimental surfaces are reported. When procedures are followed, adhesion strength measurements on silicone substrata after 2 weeks are comparable to those obtained using standard methods. Hydrophilic surfaces require reattachment for 2-4 weeks. The adhesion strength of barnacles in reattachment assays was positively correlated to results obtained from field testing a series of experimental polysiloxane fouling-release coatings (r = 0.89). The reattachment method allows for precise barnacle orientation, enabling the use of small surfaces and the potential for automation. The method enables down-selection of coatings from combinatorial approaches to manageable levels for definitive field testing. Reattachment can be used with coatings that combine antifouling and fouling-release technologies.
Rittschof, D; Orihuela, B; Stafslien, S; Daniels, J; Christianson, D; Chisholm, B; Holm, E
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