Fundamental understanding of biofouling control by zwitterionic polymer brushes: Interactions between bacteria and ultralow fouling surfaces
Fabricate zwitterionic diblock copolymer aimed to modify surfaces and membranes that will provide us with optimal reduction of biofouling propensity.
Synthesizing the block-copolymer, polystyrene bonded to the alternating peptide lysine-glutamic acid (PS-b[(KE)alt]15), to prove its self assembly on Polystyrene surfaces to analyze its interactions with bacteria and biofilms.
- Formation of the PS-b-[(KE)alt]15 brush was analyzed including the layer hydration (swelling) and the related anti-polyelectrolytic effects
- Anti-biofouling properties were elucidated:
- extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) adsorption
- bacterial attachment
- mono-culture biofilm formation.
- All these biofouling related processes were significantly affected.
- Viscoelastic properties of the brush will be compared to the QCM-D results
- Effects of brush density and polymer size will be elucidated
- RO membranes will be modified and tested
- A paper is currently in preparation process on mitigation of biofouling by PS-b[(KE)alt]15 BCP
- A short lecture was conducted in the ACS workshop: “Advances in Materials and Processes for Polymeric Membrane Mediated Water Purification”, February 15-18, 2015, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California USA