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Chitosan-zinc oxide nanocomposite coatings for the prevention of marine biofouling

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Grant Burgess



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Marine biofouling is a worldwide problem affecting maritime industries. Global concerns about the high toxicity of antifouling paints have highlighted the need to develop less toxic antifouling coatings. Chitosan is a natural polymer with antimicrobial, antifungal and antialgal properties that is obtained from partial deacetylation of crustacean waste. In the present study, nanocomposite chitosan-zinc oxide (chitosan-ZnO) nanoparticle hybrid coatings were developed and their antifouling activity was tested. Chitosan-ZnO nanoparticle coatings showed anti-diatom activity against Navicula sp. and antibacterial activity against the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas nigrifaciens. Additional antifouling properties of the coatings were investigated in a mesocosm study using tanks containing natural sea water under controlled laboratory conditions. Each week for four weeks, biofilm was removed and analysed by flow cytometry to estimate total bacterial densities on the coated substrates. Chitosan-ZnO hybrid coatings led to better inhibition of bacterial growth in comparison to chitosan coatings alone, as determined by flow cytometry. This study demonstrates the antifouling potential of chitosan-ZnO nanocomposite hybrid coatings, which can be used for the prevention of biofouling.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Naamani L, Dobretsov S, Dutta J, Burgess JG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chemosphere

Year: 2017

Volume: 168

Pages: 408-417

Print publication date: 01/02/2017

Online publication date: 28/10/2016

Acceptance date: 10/10/2016

Date deposited: 28/02/2017

ISSN (print): 0045-6535

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1298

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.10.033


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Funder referenceFunder name
Research Council of Oman (TRC) chair in Nanotechnology
2016-02838VINNOVA grant (Sweden)
IG/AGR/FISH/15/02Sultan Qaboos University