Poly(ethyl ethylene phosphonate)‐based methacrylic copolymers containing polysiloxane methacrylate (SiMA) co‐units are proposed as surface‐active additives as alternative solutions to the more investigated polyzwitterionic and polyethylene glycol counterparts for the fabrication of novel PDMS‐based coatings for marine antifouling applications. In particular, the same hydrophobic SiMA macromonomer was copolymerized with a methacrylate carrying a poly(ethyl ethylene phosphonate) (PEtEPMA), a phosphorylcholine (MPC), and a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEGMA) side chain to obtain non‐water soluble copolymers with similar mole content of the different hydrophilic units. The hydrolysis of poly(ethyl ethylene phosphonate)‐based polymers was also studied in conditions similar to those of the marine environment to investigate their potential as erodible films. Copolymers of the three classes were blended into a condensation cure PDMS matrix in two different loadings (10 and 20 wt%) to prepare the top‐coat of three‐layer films to be subjected to wettability analysis and bioassays with marine model organisms. Water contact angle measurements showed that all of the films underwent surface reconstruction upon prolonged immersion in water, becoming much more hydrophilic. Interestingly, the extent of surface modification appeared to be affected by the type of hydrophilic units, showing a tendency to increase according to the order PEGMA < MPC < PEtEPMA. Biological tests showed that Ficopomatus enigmaticus release was maximized on the most hydrophilic film containing 10 wt% of the PEtEP‐based copolymer. Moreover, coatings with a 10 wt% loading of the copolymer performed better than those containing 20 wt% for the removal of both Ficopomatus and Navicula, independent from the copolymer nature.
|Publication status||Published - 5 Oct 2021|
- Amphiphilic polymer
- Fouling release
- Polyethylene glycol