Green materials science and engineering reduces biofouling: approaches for medical and membrane-based technologies.

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Frontiers in microbiology, ISSN: 1664-302X, Vol: 6, Issue: MAR, Page: 196

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Dobosz, Kerianne M.; Kolewe, Kristopher W.; Schiffman, Jessica D.
Frontiers Media SA
Immunology and Microbiology; Medicine; Antibiotic Resistance; Antifouling; Biofouling; Green Chemistry; Resistance Genes; Drug Development; Chemical Engineering
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Numerous engineered and natural environments suffer deleterious effects from biofouling and/or biofilm formation. For instance, bacterial contamination on biomedical devices pose serious health concerns. In membrane-based technologies, such as desalination and wastewater reuse, biofouling decreases membrane lifetime, and increases the energy required to produce clean water. Traditionally, approaches have combatted bacteria using bactericidal agents. However, due to globalization, a decline in antibiotic discovery, and the widespread resistance of microbes to many commercial antibiotics and metallic nanoparticles, new materials, and approaches to reduce biofilm formation are needed. In this mini-review, we cover the recent strategies that have been explored to combat microbial contamination without exerting evolutionary pressure on microorganisms. Renewable feedstocks, relying on structure-property relationships, bioinspired/nature-derived compounds, and green processing methods are discussed. Greener strategies that mitigate biofouling hold great potential to positively impact human health and safety.