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Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Volume 639, 2022, 128313

Anti-biofouling functional surfaces for marine aquaculture

Harrison J. Coxa, Isaac Cooperb, Heinrich F. Kasparb

Chemistry Department, Science Laboratories, Durham University, Durham DH1 3LE, England, UK.


Aquaculture is a global-scale industry providing sustainable production of protein-rich foods required to feed the growing world population. Microalgae cultivation in aquaculture bioreactors can exude extracellular polymeric substances leading to biofouling of culture infrastructure and increased algal disease risk. A structure–behaviour relationship was developed by examining how the surface wettability of a range of functional nanocoatings impacts the extent of biofouling during exposure to continuous microalgae culture under normal hydrodynamic conditions. High-wetting (hydrophilic) surfaces were found to reduce biofouling better than water-repelling (hydrophobic) surfaces. Low toxicity in conjunction with antifouling behaviour was found for pulsed plasma poly(4-vinylpyridine) coated bioreactor surfaces (water contact angle = 38 ± 5°) towards the marine microalgal species Chaetoceros calcitrans, Chaetoceros mulleri, and Tisochrysis lutea (T-Iso), which are commonly grown as aquaculture food.

Keywords: Functional nanocoating, Anti-biofouling, Microalgae, Hydrophilic, Hydrophobic.

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