In this paper we report on the effect of surface wettability on surface selection and adhesion properties of settled (adhered) spores of the biofouling marine alga Enteromorpha and cells of the diatom Amphora, through the use of patterned self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). The SAMs were formed from alkanethiols terminated with methyl (CH3) or hydroxyl (OH) groups, or mixtures of the two, creating a discontinuous gradient of wettability as measured by advancing water contact angle. In the case of Enteromorpha, primary adhesion, as measured by the transition from a motile spore to a settled, sessile organism, is strongly promoted by the hydrophobic surfaces. On the other hand, adhesion strength of the settled spores, as measured by resistance to detachment in a turbulent flow cell, is greatest on a hydrophilic surface. In the case of Amphora, there is little influence of surface wettability on the primary adhesion of this organism, but motility is inhibited at contact angles ≥60° and the cells are more strongly adhered to hydrophobic surfaces. Adhesion strength of Enteromorpha spores is also influenced by group size, spores in groups being more resistant to detachment than single spores.
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Vol. 42 • No. 6