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Biofouling can be overcome with zwitterion grafts and anti-microbial, metallic nanoparticles. However, the mechanism underpinning this effective approach remains unclear. To elucidate the role of each component in this system whilst maximizing membrane anti-fouling and anti-microbial properties, here we performed a comparative study to investigate the impact of zwitterion type and their interactions with Ag of various states. Two different zwitterions (SO-based and COO-based) were employed to modify polyamide (PA) thin film composite (TFC) membranes, and the metallized and mineralized membranes were developed via in-situ formation of silver (Ag) nanoparticles and deposition of silver chloride (AgCl) particles on the zwitterion-modified TFC membranes. The presence of zwitterions was key to enhancing Ag content, resulting in significantly improved anti-microbial and anti-fouling properties without compromising the nanofiltration separation performance. COO-based zwitterions were found more favourable towards Ag metallization and mineralization compared to SO-based zwitterions. The underlying mechanisms underpinning this discovery were further revealed using the Density Functional Theory (DFT) to reveal Gibbs free energy of the binding between zwitterions and Ag ions. This fundamental knowledge is crucial for designing next-generation anti-biofouling strategies.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: ACS applied materials & interfaces
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The use of silver, usually silver nitrate, as a reagent for producing contrast or coloration in tissue specimens.
The ability of bacteria to resist or to become tolerant to several structurally and functionally distinct drugs simultaneously. This resistance may be acquired through gene mutation or foreign DNA in transmissible plasmids (R FACTORS).
The ability of viruses to resist or to become tolerant to several structurally and functionally distinct drugs simultaneously. This resistance phenotype may be attributed to multiple gene mutation.
The ability of fungi to resist or to become tolerant to several structurally and functionally distinct drugs simultaneously. This resistance phenotype may be attributed to multiple gene mutations.
Silver. An element with the atomic symbol Ag, atomic number 47, and atomic weight 107.87. It is a soft metal that is used medically in surgical instruments, dental prostheses, and alloys. Long-continued use of silver salts can lead to a form of poisoning known as ARGYRIA.