All structures in aquatic environments suffer from aggressive biofouling, which is economically costly, and its control imposes environmental burdens through release of biocides. Current non-biocidal coatings are unsuitable for most applications. Hence t here is a 'technology gap' demanding innovation. The biofouling process involves interfacial interactions determined within a few nanomaters of a surface. Control of interfacial phenomena requires, therefore, a capability for molecular level engineering of surfaces. The goal of the AMBIO project is to develop innovative non-biocidal solutions to the problem of aquatic biofouling, using a range of molecular surface engineering approaches. The project integrates industries, universities and research organ isations into a coordinated interdisciplinary programme incorporating all the necessary elements from nanomaterials engineering to biological evaluation and end-user trials. The industrial supply chain built into this IP will ensure durable impacts thro ugh technology transfer from the programme to industrial production. The project will use a 'knowledge-driven' research approach rather than empirical testing. Novel, nanoscale surfaces will be evaluated by biologists in rapid adhesion assays and charac terised physically in terms of molecular orientation, conformation and surface dynamics. The results will be used to modify the models and refine the surfaces in an iterative approach. The most promising strategies will be developed as practical surface s and subjected to field-testing of prototype products for end-use applications in the areas of hull coatings, membrane filters, aquaculture equipment, instrumentation, water-inlets and heat exchangers. The project will be Europe's first large-scale, mul tidisciplinary research programme to meet the problem of aquatic biofouling and thus will be a 'flagship' for European non-biocidal R&D.
Fields of science
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
Call for proposal
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