595. Graphene-Based Bacterial Filtration via Electrostatic Adsorption
R. Ahmed, A. Vaishampayan, K. Achazi, E. Grohmann, R. Haag, O. Wagner – 2022
Flexible graphene oxide (GO) microsheets with attached positively charged polymers, termed GOX microsheets, are efficient at bacterial adsorption, as they bind electrostatically to bacterial membranes’ negative surface charge. The authors explore an antimicrobial water filter application for GOX's extremely high surface area and its previously described efficient bacterial adsorption.Cellulose-fiber carrier material is functionalized with GOX microsheets to create an adsorption-based bacteria filtration material. The morphology and charge density (7.8 × 1019 g–1) of the prepared GOX fibers are determined by scanning electron microscopy and dye adsorption assay, and widefield fluorescence microscopy is used to visualize the adsorption of stained Escherichia coli bacterial cells on the fibers. GOX fibers are tested in filtration setups to investigate their bacteria removal performance. The experimental results, with 100 mg of GOX fibers filtering 2.4 × 109 colony-forming units (CFU) from an E. coli bacterial culture with 99.5% bacterial reduction, demonstrate the fibers’ high bacteria loading capacity. The electrostatic adsorption-based filtration mechanism allows the filter to be operated at higher flow rates than micropore membrane filters, while maintaining 3-log bacterial reduction. GOX filter materials removing bacteria via adsorption are a high flow rate alternative to current water filtration processes that rely on size-exclusion.