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International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Volume 200, 2022, Pages 234-241

Antifouling performance of in situ synthesized chitosan-zinc oxide hydrogel film against alga M. aeruginosa

Xueqin Zhaoa, Sen Zengb, Hua Fengb

College of Life Science and Medicine, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, PR China.


The undesirable settlement and growth of microalgae on submerged installations is a universal problem in water environment. Soft hydrogels are promising fouling-resistant materials due to the inherent surface properties. Herein, a kind of chitosan hydrogels with increasing zinc oxide (ZnO) mineral phase content were prepared by in situ sol–gel and solvent casting method, to prevent growth of algae Microcystis. aeruginosa. Incorporation with ZnO mineral phase improved mechanical property, water absorption, and stability of the obtained chitosan-zinc oxide (CS@ZnO) hydrogel films in Zn dose-dependent manner. The highest strength and growth inhibition (63.45 ± 8.93%) were observed by CS@ZnO-1.5 hydrogel films with the concentrations of 1.5% precursor in comparison with other hydrogel films. During this process, algal cell membrane was slightly damaged (24.5 ± 1.57%) and accompanied by significantly synthesis inhibition such as chlorophyll a (55.22 ± 2.72%) and total soluble protein (42.97 ± 1.66%). To sum up, synthesis inhibition of algal cell is the main mechanism of CS@ZnO hydrogel films inhibiting algal growth, which has the potential in antibiofouling application.


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