Current antifouling (AF) technologies are based on the continuous release of biocides into the water, and consequently discharge into the environment. Major efforts to develop more environmentally friendly coatings require efficient testing in laboratory assays, followed by field studies. Barnacles are important fouling organisms worldwide, increasing hydrodynamic drag on ships and damaging coatings on underwater surfaces, and thus are extensively used as models in AF research, mostly in static, laboratory-based systems. Reliable flow-through test assays for the screening of biocide-containing AF paints, however, are rare. Herein, a flow-through bioassay was developed to screen for diverse low-release biocide paints, and to evaluate their effects on pre- and post-settlement traits in barnacles. The assay distinguishes between the effects from direct surface contact and bulk-water effects, which are crucial when developing low-emission AF coatings. This flow-through bioassay adds a new tool for rapid laboratory-based first-stage screening of candidate compounds and novel AF formulations.
- antifouling assay
- Balanus (Amphibalanus) improvisus
- low-release/emission coatings
- static vs flow-through