Experimental Assessment of a Conducting Polymer (PEDOT) and Microbial Biofilms as Deterrents and Facilitators of Macro-Biofouling: Larval Settlement of the Barnacle Notobalanus flosculus (Darwin, 1854) from Central ChileRevista : Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación
Maritime enterprises have long sought solutions to reduce the negative consequences of the settlement and growth of marine biofouling (micro- and macro-organisms) on virtually all surfaces and materials deployed at sea. The development of biofouling control strategies requires solutions that are cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Polymer-based coatings, such as the poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and its potential applications, have blossomed over the last decade thanks to their low cost, nontoxicity, and high versatility. Here, using multiple-choice larval settlement experiments, we assessed the efficacy of PEDOT against the balanoid barnacle Notobalanus flosculus one of the most common biofouling species in Southeastern Pacific shores, and compared results against a commercially available antifouling (AF) coating, and biofilms at different stages of succession (1, 2, 4 and 8 weeks). We show that larval settlement on PEDOT-coated surfaces was similar to the settlement on AF-coated surfaces, while larvae settled abundantly on roughened acrylic and on early-to-intermediate stages of biofilm (one to four weeks old). These results are promising and suggest that PEDOT is a good candidate for fouling-resistant coating for specific applications at sea. Further studies to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of barnacle larval deterrence, as well as exposure to field conditions, are encouraged.