Bioinspired synthetic macroalgae: examples from nature for antifouling applications

James Chapman, Claire Hellio, Timothy Sullivan, Robert Brown, Sonia Russell, Eolann Kiterringham, Laurianne Le Nor, Fiona Regan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The demand to develop a novel, environmentally friendly antifouling (AF) material is ever increasing. An attractive option in developing such a material is biomimicrydlearning from nature’s own designs and solutions and transferring them to solve problems that affect human day-to-day living. In order to achieve this goal the actual mechanisms and strategies that evolution has produced need to be elucidated from the subject species. The work presented herein investigated the role of surface topography and chemistry combined in a single material e a property that naturally exists in some common macroalgae. Saccharina latissima (sugar kelp) and Fucus guiryi (Guiry’s wrack) were selected as a platform for “bioinspiration.” Here, the surfaces of the samples were characterised and then replicated using simple polymeric reproduction methods. Furthermore, a pre-extracted brominated furanone was doped into this matrix (0.05 mg ml�1). The replicated macroalgae samples containing the brominated furanone compound were compared in a 7-day marine study to investigate the effects of biofouling. The bioinspired samples directly demonstrated that combinatory approaches (using topography and chemistry) exhibited lower levels of biofouling. Here it is reported that both chemistry and topography demonstrated 40% less biofouling when compared to blanks in all of the pre-designed biochemical biofouling assays. This represents an attractive nontoxic alternative to the current state of the art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Biodeterioration & Biodegradation
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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