- Ista, L. K. and Lopez, G. P., Lower critical solubility temperature materials as biofouling release agents,
JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MICROBIOLOGY & BIOTECHNOLOGY, vol. 20 no. 2
pp. 121--125 .
(last updated on 2010/02/08)
Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAM) exhibits a lower critical solubility temperature (LCST) of 32 degrees C, Using thin films of this compound as a model system, the potential of 'smart polymers' as biofouling-release agents was examined. PNIPAAM-coated glass slides were incubated in artificial sea water containing the marine bacterium Halomonas marina or in natural bay water at a temperature above the LCST, Upon rinsing of the biofouled samples with artificial sea water below the LCST, the dissolution of the coating released over 90\% of the attached fouling material, a significant increase over the release obtained for glass controls, These experiments demonstrate the potential of PNIPAAM and similar polymers as possible fouling-release agents, and suggest that tethered PNIPAAM (or similar polymers) may be useful as regenerable fouling-release surfaces.