chapter  7
Algal Glue Mimetics
Pages 14

A study of the brown algae U. pinnatifida spores, conducted by Petrone et al. [12], identified phosphate groups and monoester-sulfated polysaccharides as key components of the algae adhesive; in fact, algae grown in a sulfate-deprived environment did not have the ability to settle. This knowledge has not been utilized for the development of new synthetic adhesives.Another extensively studied family of algae glues is formed by the brown algae Fucus. Vreeland and Epstein [13] postulated that initial substratum adhesion by zygotes of the brown alga Fucus gardenri involves the secretion of polyphenols. Later, after germination, the phenolic polymer secretion was localized at the site of attachment indicating that phenolic polymers and oxidases might play a key role in the algae adhesion. They proposed a “fiberphenolic-catalyst” mechanism (Fig. 7.1) whereby the secretion of phenolic compounds coupled with peroxidase results in the crosslinking of cell-wall polysaccharides [22].