If successful, the use of organoselenium coatings to prevent bacterial colonization and/or biofouling may be applied to potable and wastewater piping infrastructure and treatment systems. Additionally, these organoselenium compounds may be applied to any hard surface to achieve a permanently efficacious environment to combat the growth and proliferation of bacteria. These surface coatings may also be applied to medical instruments, devices and wound care products to combat infection. While this application focuses on a surface coating, the same organoselenium compounds may be modified to be applied as a polymer additive suitable for numerous plastic component applications which require protection against bacteria and biofilm colonization.
The uses for antimicrobial coatings are nearly limitless ranging from industrial to medical applications. While there are many antimicrobial technologies, the organoselenium compounds have several unique advantages including their ability to remain covalently attached providing permanence in their activity. Thus, applications which have a need for long term biofilm protection are most suitable. To date, the technology has been used in dental and orthodontic applications, medical device implants, water filtration spacer netting, plastic water tubing and reverse osmosis membranes. If the objectives of this grant are successfully achieved, the use of the organoselenium compounds on metal piping would likely lead to opportunities in oil and gas, water transport and other similar applications susceptible to biofouling.