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    Mussel biofouling has become a problem in aquatic ecosystems, causing significant ecological impact and huge economic loss globally. Although several strategies have been proposed and tested, efficient and environment-friendly antifouling methods are still scarce. Here, we investigated the effects of recoverable magnetic ferroferric oxide nanoparticles (Fe3O4-NPs) with different sizes (10 and 100 nm), coatings (polyethylene glycol and polylysine), and concentrations (0.01 and 0.1 mg/L) on byssus adhesion-mediated biofouling by the notorious golden mussel Limnoperna fortunei. The results showed that magnetic Fe3O4-NPs, especially negatively charged polyethylene glycol-coated Fe3O4-NPs, size- and concentration-dependently reduced the byssus production, performance (breaking force and failure location), and adhesion rate. Further investigations on mechanisms showed that the down-regulation of foot protein 2 (Lffp-2) and energy-related metabolic pathways inhibited byssus production. The declined gene expression level and metal-binding ability of Lffp-2 significantly affected foot protein interactions, further reducing the plaque size and byssus performance. In addition, the change in the water redox state likely reduced byssus performance by preventing the interface interactions between the substrate and foot proteins. Our results confirm the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of magnetic Fe3O4-NPs on mitigating L. fortunei biofouling, thus providing a reference for developing efficient and environment-friendly antifouling strategies against fouling mussels.


    Shiguo Li, Xi Li, Jiawei Cheng, Aibin Zhan. Effectiveness and Mechanisms of Recoverable Magnetic Nanoparticles on Mitigating Golden Mussel Biofouling. Environmental science & technology. 2021 Feb 16;55(4):2500-2510

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    PMID: 33535746

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