Centre for Biofouling Control

Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories, Room 140

Biofouling limits the performance of man-made materials. For example, biofouling of ship hulls, if uncontrolled, would lead to a 40% increase in fuel costs, leading to as much as a 1% increase in anthropogenic carbon dioxide production. Moreover, 10% of the cost of salmon aquaculture can be traced to biofouling costs for treating aquaculture cages. Biofouling also results in the failure of biomedical devices such as implants, catheters, and biodiagnostic platforms—a leading cause of death during hospital stays.

Control is currently achieved by using heavy metals. Green solutions are required, which will come from developing better materials and a better understanding of biofouling growth. Materials that are more effective at controlling biofouling are required and understanding the development of biofilms is a key step.

The Centre for Biofouling Control brings together researchers who face similar biofouling problems in completely different disciplines with the tools they need to solve those problems. Our overall goal is to enable the development of a biofouling model for proteins, biofilms, and macrofoulers and, just as importantly, a way to inhibit biofouling through the knowledge provided by the model.

The Centre houses the following instrumentation: optical microscopes, particle tracking system, quartz crystal microbalance, UV–Vis spectrometer, nanoscale IR imaging system, atomic force microscope system, Raman spectrometer, cell culture station, and synthetic station.

For further information, please contact Gilbert Walker (gwalker@chem.utoronto.ca).