Head: Christine BRESSY
Since the last 30 years, our objective has been to combat biofouling which settles on materials and structures immersed in the marine environment. Our team has a keen interest in developing environmentally friendly antifouling/fouling release strategies and in demonstrating their mechanisms of action using surface and bulk analysis techniques, field tests and bioassays developed in our lab.
The inhibition of biofouling colonization requires combined methodologies of material design, including tailored surface chemistry and topography, and regulation of bulk material characteristics. Past and incoming regulations from the European Chemical Agency compromise the use of biocidal polymers or coatings. Therefore, several approaches are under development depending on specific requirements.
Seawater hydrolysable (meth)acrylic polymers with controlled architectures and morphologies have been designed to control the self-polishing behavior and release properties of antifouling coatings. Over the last 10 years, ambiguous surfaces have been considered through the design of block copolymers to provide access to a wide variety of materials with tunable hydrophobicity, water resistance and mechanical properties. Several approaches using hybrid surfaces displaying self-polishing (SP) and fouling release (FR) properties, bio-inspired polymers, and micro-structured redox addressable polymers have been explored. Biomimetic approaches imitating topographical patterns and biodegradable-based coatings are currently investigated as promising non-toxic alternatives.
The ambition of the "Antifouling Surfaces" research topic is to bring experts from around the world providing the latest basic and applied research advances in chemistry, physical chemistry, coatings and materials to help meet the challenge to develop new surfaces, materials and coatings for marine antifouling purposes.