Microtopography has been observed to lead to altered attachment behavior for marine fouling organisms; however, quantification of this phenomenon is lacking in the scientific literature. Here, we present quantitative measurement of the disruption of normal attachment behavior of the fouling algae Ulva linza by antifouling microtopographies. The distribution of the diatom Navicula incerta was shown to be unaffected by the presence of topography. The radial distribution function was calculated for both individual zoospores and cells as well as aggregates of zoospores from attachment data for a variety topographic configurations and at a number of different attachment densities. Additionally, the screening distance and maximum values were mapped according to the location of zoospore aggregates within a single unit cell. We found that engineered topographies decreased the distance between spore aggregates compared to that for a smooth control surface; however, the distributions for individual spores were unchanged. We also found that the local attachment site geometry affected the screening distance for aggregates of zoospores, with certain geometries decreasing screening distance and others having no measurable effect. The distribution mapping techniques developed and explored in this article have yielded important insight into the design parameters for antifouling microtopographies that can be implemented in the next generation of antifouling surfaces.
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© 2014 American Chemical Society.