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No Biofouling Surfaces (NoBios)
Start date: Apr 1, 2015, End date: Mar 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Biofilms consist of bacteria, proteins and cells which attached to a solid surface. Prevention of biofilms is of extreme relevance in industry and science as they are ubiquitous and able to provoke corrosion or failure in pipelines, heat exchangers, biomedical devices, artificial implants or food processing facilities. Biofilms are often battled with antibiotics, but bacterial resistance is a major problem. Therefore, novel approaches are required to avoid biofouling. We will explore the application of (1) superamphiphobic coatings, (2) slippery liquid infused porous surfaces and (3) functional pillar arrays surfaces to battle biofouling. These surfaces have in common that they strongly repel water, blood and organic liquids, and even soap-water mixtures due to a synergy between rough topography and a special chemistry. We will monitor and characterize the adhesion of bacteria, proteins and cells to these surfaces depended on shape, size and chemical of composition of the surface and the liquids. Several classical and highly advanced cutting edge methods will be used to investigate the wetting and fouling properties of these surfaces, especially laser scanning confocal microscopy. In the final steps of the research, we will evaluate the robustness of the surfaces and the biocompatibility in order to establish potential real applications in collaboration with industrial partners. We exert a high impact of this fellowship to the scientific community and the rest of society.
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