Bio-inspired immobilization of casein-coated silver nanoparticles on cellulose acetate membranes for biofouling control

Conor Sprick, Sneha Chede, Vinka Oyanedel-Craver, Isabel C. Escobar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study shows the results of low-biofouling nanocomposite membranes, loaded with casein-coated silver nanoparticles (casein-Ag-NPs). Membranes were cast and imbedded with Ag-NPs using two approaches, physical blending of Ag-NPs in the dope solution (PAg-NP/CA membranes) and chemical attachment of Ag-NPs to cast membranes (CAg-NP/CA membranes), to determine their biofouling control properties. The functionalization of Ag-NPs onto the CA membranes was achieved via attachment with functionalized thiol groups with the use of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) and cysteamine chemistries, which was inspired by the affinity of silver to the thiol groups of cysteine proteins in bacteria. The immobilization chemistry successfully prevented leaching of silver nanoparticles during cross-flow studies. Pseudomonas fluorescens Migula in brackish water was used for dead-end filtration, where CAg-NP/CA membranes displayed lower a significant reduction in the accumulation of bacterial cells, likely due to the more dispersed nanoparticles across the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2480-2491
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors want to acknowledge the sources of funding, NSF OISE-1350789 and USAID ( PR&D 05-01 and PR&D 05-03 ), for funding this project. This material is also based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Office of International Science and Engineering (NSF OISE) under Cooperative Agreement No. 1355438, and by the NSF KY EPSCoR Program .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Bio-inspired
  • Biofouling
  • Leaching
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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