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    Lateral force removal of fungal spores to demonstrate how surface properties affect fungal spore retention

    Whitehead, Kathryn A. (2022) Lateral force removal of fungal spores to demonstrate how surface properties affect fungal spore retention. [Dataset]

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    Abstract

    Microbial biofouling on polymer surfaces can lead to their biodeterioration. This may result in deterioration of the surface leading to cracking and fracturing. Fungal spores from Aspergillus niger 1957, Aspergillus niger 1988 and Aureobasidium pullulans were tested to determine their strength of attachment on three surfaces, p(γ-MPS-co-MMA), p(γ-MPS-co-LMA), and spin coated PMMA (PMMAsc) using lateral force measurements. The results demonstrated that A. niger 1957 and A. niger 1988 spores were most easily removed from the p(γ-MPS-co-MMA) surface, which was the surface with the highest Ra value. The A. niger 1957 and A. pullulans spores were most difficult to remove from the PMMAsc surface which was the hardest surface. A. niger 1988 spores were the most difficult to remove from p(γ-MPS-co-LMA), the most hydrophobic surface. The results with A. pullulans were difficult to elucidate since the spores bound to all three surfaces and were removed with similar rates of force. The lateral force results demonstrated that spore attachment to a surface is a multifactorial process, and independent surface and microbial factors influence spore binding. Thus, each environmental scenario needs to be considered on an individual basis, since a solution to one biofouling issue will probably not translate across to other systems.

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