5 Scopus citations


The airborne nature of coronavirus transmission makes it critical to develop new barrier technologies that can simultaneously reduce aerosol and viral spread. Here, we report nanostructured membranes with tunable thickness and porosity for filtering coronavirus-sized aerosols, combined with antiviral enzyme functionalization that can denature spike glycoproteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in low-hydration environments. Thin, asymmetric membranes with subtilisin enzyme and methacrylic functionalization show more than 98.90% filtration efficiency for 100-nm unfunctionalized and protein-functionalized polystyrene latex aerosol particles. Unfunctionalized membranes provided a protection factor of 540 ± 380 for coronavirus-sized particle, above the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standard of 10 for N95 masks. SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein on the surface of coronavirus-sized particles was denatured in 30 s by subtilisin enzyme-functionalized membranes with 0.02-0.2% water content on the membrane surface.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
JournalCommunications Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation-RAPID grant 2030217 and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-Superfund Research Program Grant P42ES007380. The authors further acknowledge Solecta Membranes (Oceanside, CA) for providing large-sheet commercial PVDF400 and PS35 membranes, and Ben Weaver for technical discussions. The authors also acknowledge Yuxia Ji for assistance in obtaining initial enzyme activity in solution-phase, and Dr. Rebecca Dutch and Kearstin Edmonds for assistance in obtaining SDS-PAGE results with spike glycoprotein.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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