Anti-biofouling property studies on carboxyl-modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes filled PDMS nanocomposites

  • Yuan Sun
  • Zhizhou ZhangEmail author
Original Paper


Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) with exceptional fouling-release properties is extremely susceptible to the microfouling resulted from the colonization of the pioneer microorganisms in the marine environment. In this study, six carboxyl-modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes (cMWNTs) nanoparticles were incorporated into the PDMS matrix, respectively, in order to produce the cMWNTs-filled PDMS nanocomposites (CPs) with improved antifouling (AF) properties. The AF properties of the six CPs were examined via the field assays conducted in Weihai, China. The effects of the anti-biofouling potential of the CPs (i.e. the P3 surface) on the colonization of the pioneer prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes were investigated using the single-stranded conformation polymorphism technique via the comparison of the diversity indices. Different CPs have displayed differential and better AF properties as compared to that of the unfilled PDMS (P0). The P3 surface has exhibited exceptional anti-biofouling capacity compared with the other CPs surfaces, which can effectively prevent biofouling for more than 14 weeks in the field. The SSCP analysis revealed that the P3 surface may have significant modulating effect on the pioneer microbial communities. The pioneer eukaryotic microbes seemed more susceptible than the pioneer prokaryotic microbes to be subjected to the major perturbations exerted by the P3 surface. The dramatically reduced eukaryotic-microbial diversity may contribute to the impeding and weakening of the development and growth of the biofilm. The P3 surface has the potential to be used for future maritime applications.


Anti-biofouling Carboxyl-modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes Polydimethylsiloxane Pioneer microbial communities Single-stranded conformation polymorphism 



The authors express their sincere gratitude and thanks to Shuang Liang and Yongkang Liu of Harbin Institute of Technology, school of Marine science and technology for their constant assistance with the field studies and sampling throughout the course of this investigation. This work was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31071170).

Supplementary material

11274_2016_2094_MOESM1_ESM.tif (3 mb)
Fig. 1 Images of the panels coated with the P0 and P3 surfaces after the immersion in seawater (November 25, 2013 to March 3, 2014 and March, 14 to June 28, 2014, Weihai, China) at the depth of 1.5 m as a function of time (TIFF 3116 kb)
11274_2016_2094_MOESM2_ESM.tif (2.4 mb)
Fig. 2 The SSCP fingerprints of the pioneer microbial communities adhering to the P0 and P3 surfaces. The PP0, PP3 represented the pioneer prokaryotic communities adhering to the P0 and P3 surfaces, whereas the EP0, EP3 represented the pioneer eukaryotes adhering to the P0 and P3 surfaces (TIFF 2456 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  2. 2.School of Marine Science and TechnologyHarbin Institute of TechnologyWeihaiChina
  3. 3.Marine Antifouling Engineering Technology Center of Shangdong ProvinceHarbin Institute of TechnologyWeihaiChina

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