The effect of feature size, geometry, and roughness on the settlement of zoospores of the ship fouling alga Ulva was evaluated using engineered microtopographies in polydimethylsiloxane elastomer. The topographies studied were designed at a feature spacing of 2 microm and all significantly reduced spore settlement compared to a smooth surface. An indirect correlation between spore settlement and a newly described engineered roughness index (ERI) was identified. ERI is a dimensionless ratio based on Wenzel's roughness factor, depressed surface fraction, and the degree of freedom of spore movement. Uniform surfaces of either 2 mum diameter circular pillars (ERI=5.0) or 2 microm wide ridges (ERI=6.1) reduced settlement by 36% and 31%, respectively. A novel multi-feature topography consisting of 2 mum diameter circular pillars and 10 microm equilateral triangles (ERI=8.7) reduced spore settlement by 58%. The largest reduction in spore settlement, 77%, was obtained with the Sharklet AF topography (ERI=9.5).
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