Nanocomposite membranes from nano-particles prepared by polymerization induced self-assembly and their biocidal activity

Lakshmeesha Upadhyaya, Beatriz Oliveira, Vanessa J. Pereira, Maria T. Barreto Crespo, Joao G. Crespo, Damien Quemener, Mona Semsarilar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Silver ions have been widely used because of their antimicrobial properties. This study describes the production of novel nanocomposite membranes from a block copolymer and silver nanoparticles (NPs). These composite membranes display properties from both polymeric and inorganic materials along with the biocidal features obtained due to the presence of silver ions. The spin coating technique is employed to synthesize the nanocomposite membrane consisting of positively charged inorganic NPs and negatively charged polymeric NPs. Polymeric NPs of spherical, wormicular, and vesicular morphologies were synthesized using Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization using poly(methacrylic acid)-b-(methyl methacrylate) diblock copolymer. The silver NPs coated with poly(methacrylic acid)-b-poly(quaternized 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate), were synthesized using a nanoprecipitation method. The silver NPs act as the bridging entity between the polymeric NPs, as well as conferring the antimicrobial activity to the composite membranes. To test their antimicrobial properties, membranes were incubated with Enterococcus hirae. Comparison with the controls shows a 2 to 3 log decrease in the bacterial count for a contact time of 24 h. Furthermore, membrane filtration experiments conducted with phosphate buffer saline solutions spiked with bacteria indicated the importance of incorporating silver NPs in the nanocomposite membrane to achieve considerable rejection of bacteria as well as biocidal activity.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117375
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-13
Acknowledgements: The doctorate of L.U. has been completed at the Institut Europeen des Membranes and carried out in three universities: ́ Université de Montpellier (France), Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), and Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), and financed by a scholarship of the European Commission Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), under the program Erasmus Mundus Doctorate in Membrane Engineering, EUDIME (FPA No. 2011-0014, Edition III). D.Q. and M.S. acknowledge financial support from the “Agence Nationale pour la Recherche” (ANR-13- JS08-0008-01). Financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia through the PhD fellowship SFRH/BD/111150/2015 is gratefully acknowledged. iNOVA4Health-UID/Multi/04462/2013, a program financially supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia/Ministério da Educação e Ciência, through national funds and co-funded by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement, is also gratefully acknowledged. This work was also supported by the Associate Laboratory for Green Chemistry LAQV which is financed by national funds from FCT/MCTES (UIDB/50006/2020).


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