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Open AccessArticle

The Relative Importance of Shear Forces and Surface Hydrophobicity on Biofilm Formation by Coccoid Cyanobacteria

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LEPABE—Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
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CIIMAR—Interdisciplinar Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos, S/N, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
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FCUP—Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 4069-007 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030653 (registering DOI)
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 4 March 2020 / Accepted: 9 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
Understanding the conditions affecting cyanobacterial biofilm development is crucial to develop new antibiofouling strategies and decrease the economic and environmental impact of biofilms in marine settings. In this study, we investigated the relative importance of shear forces and surface hydrophobicity on biofilm development by two coccoid cyanobacteria with different biofilm formation capacities. The strong biofilm-forming Synechocystis salina was used along with the weaker biofilm-forming Cyanobium sp. Biofilms were developed in defined hydrodynamic conditions using glass (a model hydrophilic surface) and a polymeric epoxy coating (a hydrophobic surface) as substrates. Biofilms developed in both surfaces at lower shear conditions contained a higher number of cells and presented higher values for wet weight, thickness, and chlorophyll a content. The impact of hydrodynamics on biofilm development was generally stronger than the impact of surface hydrophobicity, but a combined effect of these two parameters strongly affected biofilm formation for the weaker biofilm-producing organism. The antibiofilm performance of the polymeric coating was confirmed at the hydrodynamic conditions prevailing in ports. Shear forces were shown to have a profound impact on biofilm development in marine settings regardless of the fouling capacity of the existing flora and the hydrophobicity of the surface. View Full-Text
Keywords: marine biofouling; biofilm formation; coccoid cyanobacteria; hydrodynamic conditions; surface hydrophobicity; polymer coating marine biofouling; biofilm formation; coccoid cyanobacteria; hydrodynamic conditions; surface hydrophobicity; polymer coating
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Faria, S.I.; Teixeira-Santos, R.; Romeu, M.J.; Morais, J.; Vasconcelos, V.; Mergulhão, F.J. The Relative Importance of Shear Forces and Surface Hydrophobicity on Biofilm Formation by Coccoid Cyanobacteria. Polymers 2020, 12, 653.

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