A major challenge in the shipping and marine industry is the biofouling on under water surfaces. So far, biocides have been the main remedy for the prevention of the adhesion of microorganisms that is also influenced by surface topography. In recent years, research projects have explored microstructured surfaces as a non-toxic antifouling strategy. In this study, physical factors of surfaces of seeds of 43 plant species were analyzed with regards to their antifouling effects. After exposure to cold water of the North Sea during the swarming periods of the barnacles larvae, the surface microstructures of seeds without fouling of barnacles were identified and compared with each other, using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). In order to validate the findings, selected microstructured surface structure properties were transferred to technical surfaces with a 2-component silicon system and subjected to the same conditions. The results of the analyses confirmed that drifting seeds with specific microstructural surface structure properties promote biofouling defense of epibionts. These results serve as a starting point for the development of non-toxic antifouling agents based on the interaction of microstructures and geometric shapes.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited