M.P. Arpa Sancet1,2, I. Thomé2, S. Bauer1,2, K. Zargiel3, A. Hucknall4, M. Alles1,2, S. Stuppy1,2, A. Chilkoti4, G. Swain3, M. Grunze1,2 , and A. Rosenhahn1,2


1 Applied Physical Chemistry, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 253, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

2 Institute for Functional Interfaces, IFG, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,

PO Box 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
3 Center of Corrosion and Biofouling Control, Florida Institute of Technology, 150 West University Boulevard, Melbourne, Florida, USA
4 Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Duke, PO Box 90281, Durham, NC 27708-0281, USA


While many studies correlate surface chemistry with results of laboratory assays, field tests are the real benchmark for antifouling performance. The majority of these studies concentrate on fouling composition on samples submerged over a couple of weeks or even months [1, 2]. The surfaces usually used are panels of promising coating formulations [3]. There is no data about the composition of communities on model surfaces like SAMs or chemically coupled biomacromolecules as frequently used in laboratory experiments. For this study three kinds of surfaces were used: SAMs with different termination and hydration properties, amphiphilic polysaccharides and poly[oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate] (POEGMA) brushes. The choice of the samples was based on the protein resistance of polysaccharides [4] and POEGMA [5], and the possibility to study the influence of chemistry and hydration through different SAMs. The samples were immersed in November and December 2010 at the FIT test site on the east coast of Florida for 2, 6, 12 and 48 hours. The dominant organisms observed on every surface were the diatoms Navicula, Mastogloia, Cocconeis and Amphora and the protozoa Peritrich. The abundance of these organisms was found to be influenced by environmental conditions. The time depending colonization and the distribution of the community is correlated with the physicochemical properties of the coatings. Compared to polymeric coatings some self assembled monolayers show surprisingly good performance.


1.         Swain, G., et al., Short-term testing of antifouling surfaces: the importance of colour. Biofouling, 2006. 22(6): p. 425-429.

2.         Zargiel, K., J. Coogan, and G. Swain, Diatom community structure on commercially available ship hull coatings. Biofouling, 2011. 27(9): p. 955-65.

3.         Swain, G.W. and M.P. Schultz, The testing and evaluation of non-toxic antifouling coatings. Biofouling, 1996. 10(1-3): p. 187-197.

4.         Cao, X., et al., Resistance of Polysaccharide Coatings to Proteins, Hematopoietic Cells, and Marine Organisms. Biomacromolecules, 2009. 10(4): p. 907-915.

5.         Ma, H.W., et al., Protein-resistant polymer coatings on silicon oxide by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization. Langmuir, 2006. 22(8): p. 3751-3756.