Image: Field trial, furanones in polymers (5 months)
Caption: When this signal antagonist (brominated furanones) is incorporated into a polymer and immersed in seawater it resists biofim formation and colonization by other fouling organisms for several months. The plastic tube treated with furanones (center) resists being covered with biofilm, unlike the untreated tubes on either side. It is now proven that molecules called furanones–produced by red algae—inhibit biofilm formation.
The furanones were discovered and proposed to be antagonists of acylated homoserine lactones by Peter Steinberg (co-director at the Centre for Marine Biofouling and Bio-Innovation (CMBB) at UNSW in Syndey) and Steffan Kjelleberg. They then collaborated with Michael Givskov to prove this point. The teams that have taken this to fruition have been directed by Peter Steinberg, Michael Givskov and Steffan Kjelleberg. The IP for furanones as signal antagonists now sits with the biotech company Biosignal Pty Ltd, for which the University of New South Wales is the main shareholder.
Source: Bill Costerton, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University – Bozeman; Steffan Kjelleberg, Centre for Marine Biofouling and Bioinnovation, University of New South Wales.
Credit: Centre for Marine Biofouling and Bioinnovation, University of New South Wales
NSF funded: NO
NSF permission: YES
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