Wyss-developed antifouling coating a boon to business and environment

Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 13:42 in Physics & Chemistry

It all began with a bet. At a conference in Italy in 2013, Nicolas Vogel, then a postdoctoral fellow in Joanna Aizenberg’s lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), gave a talk about the group’s slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS) coatings, which promised to prevent nearly anything from adhering to structures to which they were applied. In the audience was Ali Miserez, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), specializing in biological materials, who approached Vogel after the presentation and said confidently, “I bet mussels will stick to your coatings, because I still have yet to see a surface that they won’t attach to.” Vogel accepted the challenge, and on returning to Cambridge he sent some SLIPS samples to Miserez, initiating a collaboration whose results are reported in...

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