The interaction energy between bacteria and substrata with different surface energies was modelled by the extended DLVO (Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey and Overbeek) theory. The modeling results revealed that the interaction energy has a strong correlation with the CQ (Chen and Qi) ratio, which is defined as the ratio of the Lifshitz-van der Waals (LW) apolar to the electron donor surface energy components of substrata. Both modeling and experimental results with different bacteria including P. fluorescens, Cobetia marina and Vibrio alginolyticus demonstrated that if the LW surface energy of bacteria is larger than that of water, which is the case for most bacteria, the number of adhered bacteria decreases with a decreasing CQ ratio while bacterial removal rate increases with a decreasing CQ ratio. However, if the LW surface energy of bacteria is less than that of water, the opposite results are obtained. The CQ ratio gives a clear direction for the design of anti-biofouling and biofouling-release coatings through surface modification.
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