- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Environmental Science: Nano
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Grafting polysiloxane onto ultrafiltration membranes to optimize surface energy and mitigate foulingConventional approaches to mitigate fouling of membrane surfaces impart hydrophilicity to the membrane surface, which increases the water of hydration and fluidity near the surface. By contrast, we demonstrate here that tuning the membrane surface energy close to that of the dispersive component of water surface tension (21.8 mN m −1 ) can also improve the antifouling properties of the membrane. Specifically, ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were first modified using polydopamine (PDA) followed by grafting of amine-terminated polysiloxane (PSi-NH 2 ). For example, with 2 g L −1 PSi-NH 2 coating solution, the obtained coating layer contains 53% by mass fraction PSi-NH 2 and exhibits a total surface energy of 21 mN m −1 , decreasing the adsorption of bovine serum albumin by 44% compared to the unmodified membrane. When challenged with 1 g L −1 sodium alginate in a constant-flux crossflow system, the PSi-NH 2 -grafted membrane exhibits a 70% lower fouling rate than the pristine membrane at a water flux of 110 L (m 2 h) −1 and good stability when cleaned with NaOH solutions.
Abstract The conventional manufacturing processes of aerogel insulation material is largely relying on the supercritical drying, which suffers from issues of massive energy consumption, high-cost equipment, and prolonged processing time. With the consideration of large market demand of the aerogel insulation material in the next decade, a low-cost and scalable fabrication technique is highly desired. In this paper, a direct ink writing (DIW) method is used to three-dimensionally fabricate the silica aerogel insulation material, followed by room-temperature and ambient pressure drying. Compared to the supercritical drying and freeze-drying, the reported method significantly reduces the fabrication time and costs. The cost-effective DIW technique offers the capability to print complex hollow internal structures, coupled with the porous structure, is found to be beneficial to the thermal insulation property. The addition of fiber to the ink assures the durability of the fabricated product, without sacrificing the thermal insulation performance. The foam ink preparation methods and the printability are demonstrated in this paper, along with the printing of complex three-dimensional geometries. The thermal insulation performance of the printed objects is characterized, and the mechanical properties are also examined. The proposed approach is found to have 56% reduction in the processing time. The printed silicamore »
High-Performance Polyacrylic Acid-Grafted PVDF Nanofiltration Membrane with Good Antifouling Property for the Textile IndustryIn the textile industry, a high-efficiency dye removal and low-retention of salt is demanded for recycling wastewater. In this study, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) ultrafiltration membrane was transformed to a negatively charged loose nanofiltration (NF) membrane through UV-grafting of acrylic acid. At the optimal exposure of PVDF membrane in UV light for 5 min, the membrane had a high dye recovery above 99% (Congo red and Eriochrome® Black T) and a low sodium chloride (NaCl) rejection of less than 15% along with pure water flux of 26 L∙m−2∙h−1∙bar−1. Its antifouling and oleophobicity surface properties were verified using fluorescent- bovine serum albumin (BSA) and underwater mineral oil contact angle, respectively. According to the fluorescent microscopic images, the modified membrane had ten times lower adhesion of protein on the surface than the unmodified membrane. The underwater oil contact angle was raised from 110° to 155°. Moreover, the salt rejection followed this sequence: Na2SO4 > MgSO4 > NaCl > MgCl2, which agreed with the typical negatively charged NF membrane. In addition, the physicochemical characterization of membranes was further investigated to understand and link to the membrane performance, such as surface functional group, surface elements analysis, surface roughness/morphology, and surface hydrophilicity.
Nanostructure of bioactive glass affects bone cell attachment via protein restructuring upon adsorption
The nanostructure of engineered bioscaffolds has a profound impact on cell response, yet its understanding remains incomplete as cells interact with a highly complex interfacial layer rather than the material itself. For bioactive glass scaffolds, this layer comprises of silica gel, hydroxyapatite (HA)/carbonated hydroxyapatite (CHA), and absorbed proteins—all in varying micro/nano structure, composition, and concentration. Here, we examined the response of MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast cells to 30 mol% CaO–70 mol% SiO2porous bioactive glass monoliths that differed only in nanopore size (6–44 nm) yet resulted in the formation of HA/CHA layers with significantly different microstructures. We report that cell response, as quantified by cell attachment and morphology, does not correlate with nanopore size, nor HA/CHO layer micro/nano morphology, or absorbed protein amount (bovine serum albumin, BSA), but with BSA’s secondary conformation as indicated by its β-sheet/α-helix ratio. Our results suggest that the β-sheet structure in BSA interacts electrostatically with the HA/CHA interfacial layer and activates the RGD sequence of absorbed adhesion proteins, such as fibronectin and vitronectin, thus significantly enhancing the attachment of cells. These findings provide new insight into the interaction of cells with the scaffolds’ interfacial layer, which is vital for the continued development of engineered tissue scaffolds.
Probing protein aggregation at buried interfaces: distinguishing between adsorbed protein monomers, dimers, and a monomer–dimer mixture in situProtein adsorption on surfaces greatly impacts many applications such as biomedical materials, anti-biofouling coatings, bio-separation membranes, biosensors, antibody protein drugs etc. For example, protein drug adsorption on the widely used lubricant silicone oil surface may induce protein aggregation and thus affect the protein drug efficacy. It is therefore important to investigate the molecular behavior of proteins at the silicone oil/solution interface. Such an interfacial study is challenging because the targeted interface is buried. By using sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG) with Hamiltonian local mode approximation method analysis, we studied protein adsorption at the silicone oil/protein solution interface in situ in real time, using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model. The results showed that the interface was mainly covered by BSA dimers. The deduced BSA dimer orientation on the silicone oil surface from the SFG study can be explained by the surface distribution of certain amino acids. To confirm the BSA dimer adsorption, we treated adsorbed BSA dimer molecules with dithiothreitol (DTT) to dissociate these dimers. SFG studies on adsorbed BSA after the DTT treatment indicated that the silicone oil surface is covered by BSA dimers and BSA monomers in an approximate 6 : 4 ratio. That is to say, aboutmore »