Recent Developments and Practical Feasibility of Polymer-Based Antifouling Coatings

Anna M.C. Maan, Anton H. Hofman, Wiebe M. de Vos*, Marleen Kamperman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

377 Citations (Scopus)
195 Downloads (Pure)


While nature has optimized its antifouling strategies over millions of years, synthetic antifouling coatings have not yet reached technological maturity. For an antifouling coating to become technically feasible, it should fulfill many requirements: high effectiveness, long-term stability, durability, ecofriendliness, large-scale applicability, and more. It is therefore not surprising that the search for the perfect antifouling coating has been going on for decades. With the discovery of metal-based antifouling paints in the 1970s, fouling was thought to be a problem of the past, yet its untargeted toxicity led to serious ecological concern, and its use became prohibited. As a response, research shifted focus toward a biocompatible alternative: polymer-based antifouling coatings. This has resulted in numerous advanced and innovative antifouling strategies, including fouling-resistant, fouling-release, and fouling-degrading coatings. Here, these novel and exciting discoveries are highlighted while simultaneously assessing their antifouling performance and practical feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000936
JournalAdvanced functional materials
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2020


  • antifouling
  • biomimetic materials
  • polymer brushes
  • stimuli-responsive materials
  • surface modification


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