Non-toxic evolution: Advances in multifunctional antifouling coatings

Xuerui Zang, Yimeng Ni, Qiuyan Wang, Yan Cheng, Jianying Huang, Xuewen Cao, Claire J. Carmalt, Yuekun Lai, Dong Ha Kim, Yijiang Liu, Zhiqun Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Antifouling coatings play a crucial role in preventing the adhesion of marine organisms, bacteria, and blood, making them a primary strategy for combating biofouling in the marine industry. However, conventional antifouling coatings suffer from drawbacks such as high toxicity, limited abrasion resistance, and unstable polymer degradation rates, which can have adverse effects on the environment, economy, and human health. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of sustainable and nontoxic antifouling coatings. This review first presents four major antifouling strategies: traditional coatings based on wettability, traditional coatings with protective structures, nontoxic coatings based on main chain degradable polymers, and nontoxic coatings combining main chain degradation with branch chain hydrolysis polymers. Second, the review provides a comprehensive overview of antifouling coatings with diverse functionalities, including antibacterial, anti-protein, anti-blood, anti-incrusting, adhesive, self-healing, and corrosion-resistant properties. Then, the application of antifouling coatings in marine environments and the medical field is thoroughly explored. Additionally, the review addresses the current challenges encountered by antifouling coatings. Finally, a forward-looking perspective is presented, envisioning future advancements in this field. By addressing these aspects, this review aims to stimulate further development and innovation in the realm of antifouling coatings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials Today
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Antifouling coatings
  • Marine biofouling
  • Medical biofouling
  • Multifunctional antifouling coatings
  • Non-toxic antifouling


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