PDMS networks meet barnacles: a complex and often toxic relationship
The biological impact of chemical formulations used in various coating applications is essential in guiding the development of new materials that directly contact living organisms. To illustrate this point, an investigation addressing the impact of chemical compositions of polydimethylsiloxane networks on a common platform for foul-release biofouling management coatings was conducted. The acute toxicity of network components to barnacle larvae, the impacts of aqueous extracts of crosslinker, silicones and organometallic catalyst on trypsin enzymatic activity, and the impact of assembled networks on barnacle adhesion was evaluated. The outcomes of the study indicate that all components used in the formulation of the silicone network alter trypsin enzymatic activity and have a range of acute toxicity to barnacle larvae. Also, the adhesion strength of barnacles attached to PDMS networks correlates to the network formulation protocol. This information can be used to assess action mechanisms and risk–benefit analysis of PDMS networks.