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Biofouling. 2012;28(2):175-86. doi: 10.1080/08927014.2012.662676.

Enhancing the settlement and attachment strength of pediveligers of Mytilus galloprovincialis by changing surface wettability and microtopography.

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School of Marine & Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.


Surface wettability and microtopography can either enhance or deter larval settlement of many sessile marine organisms. This study quantifies the effect of these surface properties on the settlement of pediveligers of Mytilus galloprovincialis, using polymers spanning a range of wettability and microtextured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Furthermore, the adhesion strength of settled pediveligers on microtextured PDMS surfaces was quantified using a flow chamber. Settlement was enhanced at the hydrophilic end of the wettability spectrum, where mean settlement on nylon reached 33.5 ± 13.1%. In contrast, mean settlement on the most hydrophobic polymer (PDMS) was 4.2 ± 3.2%. Microtopography had a much stronger effect compared to wettability, where 400 μm textured PDMS enhanced settlement above 90%. Settlement preferences were also positively correlated to adhesion strength at flow rates of 4 knots, with all initially settled pediveligers on smooth PDMS detaching, while 79.9 ± 5.7% of pediveligers remained on the 400 μm texture.

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