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Rikke Louise Meyer gave a talk at the Open Seminar on Functional Polymeric coatings on the challenges of choosing the right strategy and designing the best surface for achieving anti-biofouling properties. The Strategy of choice, base on both the material you want to protect and the environment against which you will protect it. Common for all strategies is; Spy on nature!

Nature has already come up with many antifouling strategies suitable for different conditions and for materials of different properties. Thus, nature inspire specific coating-designs for different materials, exposed to different conditions, and with suitable antifouling properties aimed at specific types of fouling.

The strategies could include contact killing by nanostructures, Photocatalytic surfaces, anti-adhesives such as super-hydrophobic surfaces, self-polishing surfaces, or polymer brushes.

One of the examples presented, was battling S. Epidermidis, a bacteria involved in many hospital-acquired infections. S. Epidermidis attach to the surface through production and excretion of long, sticky DNA strands. By tuning polymer-brush coatings, Rikke’s group achieved inhibition of both DNA production and adhesion of S. Epidermidis. This solution is now ready for scaling in an industrial collaboration.

If you have specific antifouling challenges, we might tackle in an open science setting, please contact Stine (stinek@inano.au.dk) or Rikke.