Anti Fungal and Coatings

Project B3.1 Development of Antimicrobial Coatings for Steel Surfaces

Fouling of Bluescope’s COLORBOND roofing materials by fungal colonies is a key commercial innovation for the company. Fungal growth is primarily an aesthetic problem but also degrades the thermal efficiency of some buildings. The goal of this activity is surface coatings that interfere with the fundamental mechanisms that allow fungal materials to adhere to roofing materials while maintaining the aesthetic and durability properties of the product.

Team: Michael Higgins, Jenny Boge, Paul Molino, Dan Yang, Brianna Knowles,Shane MacLaughlin

Project B3.2 Molecular Modelling of Fundamental Molecular Mechanisms of Initial Microbial Adhesion to Functional Surfaces

Based on the latest advancements in molecular dynamics modelling, this project aims to identify an appropriate approach to multiscale modelling of functional surfaces and their interaction with microbial proteins. Following this, a comprehensive methodology will be developed which will enable the modelling of various combinations of surfaces/functional ligands/proteins and environmental conditions such as temperature, hydration and pH levels. Ultimately, this should assist in better understanding how proteins behave at various solid/liquid interfaces, so as to rationally design and produce surfaces which control their adsorption.

Team: Irene Yarovsky, Shane MacLaughlin, Mark Eckermann, Nicole Pianegonda, Matt Penna, Wenxuan Li

Project B3.3 Design and characterization of mechano-fungicidal surfaces

Based on the underlying physical principal associated with biocidal effect of insect wings, other topologies that may possess surface architectures that exhibit structurally induced antimicrobial characteristics might be investigated. The investigation will extend to other types of the nano-patterned surfaces, both natural and artificial. Given the biocidal action of the autogenous surfaces is mechanical in nature, this project is focusing on the relationship between the surface structures and their biocidal behavior against fungal cells.

Team: Elena Ivanova, Shane MacLaughlin, Mark Eckermann,Vy Khanh Truong, Nicole Pianegonda

Project B3.4: Coarse-grained Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Effects of Surface Topography on Disruption of Fungal Membranes

Following other related Project B3 activities, this project will use coarse-grain molecular dynamics calculations to simulate the interaction of fungal membranes with surfaces of different topography, and to use these results to guide development of materials with identified topographies that exert destructive forces that compromise membrane structure.

Team: Irene Yarovsky, Shane MacLaughlin, Mark Eckermann, Nicole Pianegonda, Dr Matthew Penna, Wenxuan Li

B4.1- SECM for Development of Antifungal Coatings for Painted Steel Surfaces

This short-term research activity will use the Scanning Electrochemical Microscope (SECM) technique for more rapid assessment of antifungal coating systems developed in-house, so as to optimise prototypes and provide confidence in accelerated testing of the longevity of such systems.

Team: Sina Jamali, Shane MacLaughlin, Nicole Pianegonda

B4.2- Elucidation of the mechanism of action of BlueScope antifungal roofing

BlueScope is in the process of developing an antifungal technology for roofing products. The challenges of this development require a new technology platform. The toxic leachant philosophy applied in other application is not appropriate in this application due to poor compatibility with the product vehicle , short lifespans, poor weatherability and potential environmental impacts. The project aim is to determine aspects of the mechanism of action BlueScope antifungal technology including the mode(s) of action, the effect on growth of the fungi and the longevity.

Team:Elena Ivanova, Shane MacLaughlin, Mark Eckermann,Vy Khanh Truong, Nicole Pianegonda, Phuc Le, Arturo Aburto Medina