The marine antifouling and fouling-release performance of titanium surfaces coated with a bio-inspired polymer was investigated. The polymer consisted of methoxy-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) conjugated to the adhesive amino acid l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) and was chosen based on its successful resistance to protein and mammalian cell fouling. Biofouling assays for the settlement and release of the diatom Navicula perminuta and settlement, growth and release of zoospores and sporelings (young plants) of the green alga Ulva linza were carried out. Results were compared to glass, a poly(dimethylsiloxane) elastomer (Silastic T2) and uncoated Ti. The mPEG-DOPA3 modified Ti surfaces exhibited a substantial decrease in attachment of both cells of N. perminuta and zoospores of U. linza as well as the highest detachment of attached cells under flow compared to control surfaces. The superior performance of this polymer over a standard silicone fouling-release coating in diatom assays and approximately equivalent performance in zoospore assays suggests that this bio-inspired polymer may be effective in marine antifouling and fouling-release applications.
- poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)