School of Engineering

Projects

SEACOAT

SEACOAT is an EC-funded Marie-Curie Training Network that brings together leading scientists from across Europe with the goal of understanding interfacial processes involved in marine biofouling. The network consists of 6 Universities and 2 companies from across Europe.

SEACOAT’s 16 interdisciplinary research projects are based on 3 complementary themes. All training fellows through their research projects and the Advanced Training Courses will experience aspects of the three themes.

The main research goal of SEACOAT is to improve understanding of biointerfacial processes involved in the colonisation of surfaces by marine fouling organisms.

Our vision is that this enhanced understanding will inform the future development of new, environmentally-benign materials and coatings for the practical control of marine biofouling.

Our principal objective is to discover which nano- and micro-scale physico-chemical properties of surfaces influence the adhesion of fouling organisms, through the use of surface engineering technologies to fabricate coatings that vary systematically in relevant surface properties, and length scales. We will use advanced surface analytical methods to characterise test surfaces for relevant physico-chemical surface properties and how these change after immersion. Parallel adhesion bioassays using a range of representative marine organisms (barnacles, algae, bacteria) will test intrinsic antifouling properties of surfaces. We will also study how the behaviour of fouling organisms is affected by coating properties through the use of advanced imaging techniques such as digital holography.