Lower critical solubility temperature materials as biofouling release agents

Journal Article

Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAM) exhibits a lower critical solubility temperature (LCST) of 32°C. Using thin films of this compound as a model system, the potential of 'smart polymers' as biofouling-release agents was examined. PNIPAAM-coated glass slides were incubated in artificial sea water containing the marine bacterium Halomonas marina or in natural bay water at a temperature above the LCST. Upon rinsing of the biofouled samples with artificial sea water below the LCST, the dissolution of the coating released over 90% of the attached fouling material, a significant increase over the release obtained for glass controls. These experiments demonstrate the potential of PNIPAAM and similar polymers as possible fouling-release agents, and suggest that tethered PNIPAAM (or similar polymers) may be useful as regenerable fouling-release surfaces.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ista, LK; López, GP

Published Date

  • 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 121 - 125

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1367-5435

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/sj.jim.2900490