Discover, Connect & Collaborate at TECHINNOVATION 2021
Antifouling Film for Marine and Healthcare Applications
Biofouling is a phenomenon caused by pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and other infectious agents adhering to surfaces. The contamination of surfaces through biofouling has resulted in several issues for marine infrastructure, medical devices, and other engineering components. Such issues include increased infection in the healthcare sector and increased ship hull drag and corrosion in the marine sector. This technology aims to reduce pathogen adhesion by providing a cost-effective, antifouling solution without the use of biocides and nanoparticles.
The technology is a patented, superamphiphobic (water-and-oil repellent) surface comprising of robust micro-/nanostructures. It consists of silicone-based composite materials that exhibits low surface energy, high mechanical strength, and durability in seawater environments. Using a surface treatment to generate the superamphiphobic nanostructures, this process is easily scalable to serve as a cost-effective antifouling and antibacterial solution. The low surface energy film can be easily attached to several substrates to prevent biofouling and mitigate significant health risks and financial losses on medical and marine applications.
The technology owner is seeking technical collaborations with downstream users looking for alternative antifouling solutions and licensing opportunities.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
Fabricated using a roll-to-roll (R2R) process, the material is coated onto flexible polymer substrates to form robust micro-/nanostructures with high aspect ratio (pattern height to pattern width greater than 5.0). A surface treatment such as simple flame and oxygen plasma treatment method is required to generate uniquely shaped nanostructures that exhibits superamphiphobic properties, leading to water-and-oil droplets spreading out instantly and rapid roll off. The film can be easily attached onto any surface by laminating with a pressure sensitive adhesive layer. The combination of the high mechanical strength silicone-based composite materials and well-designed micro-/nanostructure prevents the patterns from collapsing and maintains its superhydrophobicity in practical environments.
Other features of the film include :
- High degree of tunability - pattern design, hydrophobicity, oleophobicity and amphiphobicity, can be adjusted to complement the inherent antibacterial and marine antifouling of the film.
- Highly durable
- Stable without any film swelling in seawater environment for more than 2 years.
- Good reproducibility on a large-scale manufacturing (up to 30 cm x 300 m per roll).
- Safe, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
- Low-cost and easy to attach on any material surfaces.
This film can be applied to a variety of material surfaces such as metals, stainless steel, glass and polymers. Potential industries the technology can be applied to include (but are not limited to) :
- Ship manufacturers (cargo ships cruises, Yacht, warships)
- Oil refiners (offshore platform)
Medical and Healthcare
- Hospitals and veterinary hospitals,
- Health care center and clinics
- Medical device makers
- Seats and handrail of public transportation system (train, boat, bus, airplane)
- Common areas (school, temple, church, restaurant, bar)
- Escalator and trolley handrails in department store, supermarket and public transportation systems
- Submarine communications cable
- Easy to apply and scalable
- Large area implementation
- Cost efficient and longer utilization compared to competitors
- Green technology
- Safe and non-toxic solution for a variety of occurring problems of medical devices, Life Science applications
- Less infection for health care
- Durable in seawater environment
- Non-mutation of sea-living species