Prebiotic-Chemistry Inspired Polymeric Coatings for the Surface Modification of Hydrophobic Polyethersulfone membranes for the Enhancement of their Antifouling and Antibacterial Properties

  • Author / Creator
    Srinivas, Shruti
  • Polyethersulfone (PES) membranes are very commonly used for wastewater treatment because of their excellent mechanical, chemical and thermal properties. However, the major concern associated with these membranes is their susceptibility to fouling due to their intrinsic hydrophobicity. Therefore, in this study, we demonstrate a new and facile surface modification technique using the prebiotic-chemistry inspired approach, to enhance the hydrophilicity and antifouling properties of the PES membrane. Prebiotic chemistry is the study of molecules and reactions that led to the origin of life on earth and the most commonly studied polymers in the field of prebiotic chemistry are the hydrogen cyanide (HCN) derived polymers. The surface modification of the PES membrane was first obtained using aminomalonitrile (AMN), a trimer of hydrogen cyanide followed by the sequential deposition of two different polymers, a hydrophilic glycopolymer (poly(2- lactobionamidoethyl methacrylamide) P(LAEMA) and a zwitterionic polymer (poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate)) P(SBMA) to render the surface of the PES membrane hydrophilic. Surface characterizations were carried out using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy to confirm the successful modification of the PES membrane surface using AMN and the deposition of polymers P(LAEMA) and P(SBMA). The Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements were carried out to determine the surface roughness of the modified membranes, the water contact angle measurement (WCA) were performed to determine the hydrophilicity of the membrane surface. The static protein adsorption tests were performed using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein to determine the antifouling ability of the membranes surface before and after its modification. Further, the surface morphology of the membranes after their immersion into BSA was determined using the scanning electron microscopy (SEM). iii Furthermore, silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were deposited onto the surface of the modified membranes without the need for any reducing agents. The membranes were then tested for their antibacterial ability.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
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