PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

JPCL FREE Trial

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Slime Fighter: Coating Evicts Biofilms

Friday, August 10, 2012

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

Biofilms—the slimy scourge of steel ship hulls and copper pipes—may permanently lose their grip on such structures with the aid of a new coating developed by Harvard scientists.

The coating, known by the acronym SLIPS, creates a super-slippery surface that has already shown success in repelling oil and water and in fighting ice and frost buildup.

 Researchers show off their SLIPS technology against a Teflon-coated surface.

 Joanna Aizenberg and Tak-Sing Wong

Researchers show off their SLIPS technology against a Teflon-coated surface. They say SLIPS may permanently prevent the formation of biofilms on surfaces ranging from ship hulls to teeth.

Now, researchers say, the Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surface deprives bacterial communities of the footing they need to attach and grow, offering a permanent avenue for prevention.

Long-Term Approach

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), lead coauthors Joanna Aizenberg, Alexander Epstein and Tak-Sing Wong coated solid surfaces with the immobilized liquid film to “trick” the bacteria into thinking they had nowhere to attach and grow.

“People have tried all sorts of things to deter biofilm build-up—textured surfaces, chemical coatings, and antibiotics, for example,” said Aizenberg, Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.

“In all those cases, the solutions are short-lived at best. The surface treatments wear off, become covered with dirt, or the bacteria even deposit their own coatings on top of the coating intended to prevent them. In the end, bacteria manage to settle and grow on just about any solid surface we can come up with.”

Easy Cleaning

The SLIPS coating, on the other hand, turns “a once-bacteria-friendly surface into a liquid one,” adds Wong, a researcher at SEAS and a Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wyss Institute. “As a result, biofilms cannot cling to the material—and even if they do form, they easily ‘slip’ off under mild flow conditions,”

The team believes this is the first successful test of a nontoxic synthetic surface that can almost completely prevent the formation of biofilms over an extended period of time.

 Letters painted from SLIPS coating show its ability to repel biofilms.
Letters painted from SLIPS coating show its ability to repel biofilms.

SLIPS is also nontoxic, readily scalable, and self-cleaning, needing only gravity or a gentle flow of liquid to stay unsoiled. Everything seems to slip off SLIPS-treated surfaces, the team says.

The coated surfaces can also combat bacterial growth in environments with extreme pH levels, intense ultraviolet light and high salinity, the researchers say. Not surprisingly, the research has been supported in part by the Department of Defense Office of Naval Research.

Fighting Disease

Biofilms don’t impede just ships and pipes. They can stick to medical devices and even teeth, causing infections and cavities.

Aizenberg’s team says SLIPS reduced formation of three of the most notorious, disease-causing biofilms — Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus—by 96-99 percent over a seven-day period.

The coating technology works in both a static environment and under flow, or natural conditions, making it ideally suited for coating implanted medical devices that interact with bodily fluids.

‘Very Cool’ Design Tricks

In future studies, the researchers aim to better understand the mechanisms involved in preventing biofilms. They are particularly interested in whether any bacteria transiently attach to the interface and then slip off, if they just float above the surface, or if any individuals can remain loosely attached.

“Biofilms have been amazing at outsmarting us,” said Aizenberg. “And even when we can attack them, we often make the situation worse with toxins or chemicals.

“With some very cool, nature-inspired design tricks, we are excited about the possibility that biofilms may have finally met their match.”

   

Tagged categories: Antifoulants; Coatings technology; Marine Coatings; Protective coatings; Research

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Polyval Coatings
Polyflex® Polyurea Linings

exhibit outstanding versatility in use; providing abrasion resistance, superior seamless waterproofing and high-chem corrosion protection. www.polyflexlinings.com


BASF
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films basf.us/industrialcoatings
polyorders@basf.com
800-231-7868


Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams
Our 3,500 locations give you a level of service that is simply unmatched.


International Paint LLC
A Long Track Record of Success

  • Polyurethanes
  • Linings
  • Epoxies
  • Zincs
The Power to Protect™
1-800-589-1267


Minerals Research & Recovery
PREMIUM SLAG ABRASIVES

Visit mrrinc.com Companies specializing
in abandonment and decommissioning projects have discovered that Sharpshot® 20X50 copper slag is an ideal product for subsea waterjet cutting.
Call Steve: 520-297-4626


US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.


ITW Binks
Built for Tough Jobs

From Epoxies to Urethanes to other high solid coatings, the new Binks Airless 75 delivers a great finish using an ergonomic design. Visit binks.com for more information.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com