The effects of model polysiloxane and fouling-release coatings on embryonic development of a sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata) and a fish (Oryzias latipes)

Danqing Feng, Daniel Rittschof, Beatriz Orihuela, Wing Hin Kevin Patrick Kwok, Shane Stafslien, Bret Chisholm

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In recent decades attention has focused on the development of non-toxic fouling-release coatings based on silicone polymers as an alternative to toxic antifouling coatings. As fouling-release coatings gain market share, they will contribute to environmental contamination by silicones. We report effects of eight model polysiloxane and three commercial foul-release coatings on embryonic development of sea urchins and fish, Japanese medaka. We used model coatings because they have known composition and commercially available components and molecules leaching from these coatings have been partially characterized. The commercial fouling-release coatings are purported to be non-toxic and components are proprietary. Our goal was to expose embryos of well studied model animals to the coatings to determine if the complex mixtures leaching from the coatings impact development. Urchins were chosen because development is rapid and embryos can enter the non-slip layer over surfaces. Medaka was chosen because the female deposits the sticky eggs onto the anal fin and then scrapes them off onto surfaces. Embryos were confined in water over coatings in 24 well plates. Fresh model coatings had no effect on urchin development while commercial fouling-release coatings inhibited development. Fish embryos had delayed hatching, increased mortality of hatchlings and dramatically decreased ability of hatchlings to inflate the swim bladder and reduced hatching success on all coatings. After one-month immersion of coatings in running seawater to simulate initial application in the marine environment, sea urchin embryos died when placed over model silicones. Effects of the commercial coatings were reduced but included retarded development. Effects on fish embryos over leached coating were reduced compared to those of fresh coating and included decreased hatching success, decreased hatchling survival and inability to inflate the swim bladder for commercial coatings. These findings suggest, similar to medical conclusions, compounds leaching from silicone coatings can impact development and the topic deserves study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryo development
  • Environmental impact
  • Fouling-release
  • Fouling-release coatings
  • Medaka
  • Sea urchin
  • Toxic effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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