Hybrid polymer/ionic liquid electrospun membranes with tunable surface charge for virus capture in aqueous environments

Andrea Merenda, Ana Claudia Canalli Bortolassi, Julio Rodriguez-Andres, Riyadh Al-Attabi, Jürg A. Schütz, Wojciech Kujawski, Ho Kyong Shon, Ludovic F. Dumée

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Although electrospun-based membranes may be engineered as efficient platforms for the capture of biomolecules in aqueous environments, the capability of such membranes to selectively capture viruses and proteins is often limited due to poor and constrained surface affinity for molecular bonding. In order to generate more efficient electrospun-based membranes, fine-tuning Van der Waals and ionic interactions is required to control chemical affinities with such contaminants and support advanced remediation solutions. Here, diallydimethylammonium chloride and poly(acrylonitrile) electrospun nanofibres were developed to enhance the adsorption of specific contaminant molecules compared to equivalently shaped pristine poly(acrylonitrile) nanofibre membranes. The results showed that the incorporation of the ionic liquid improved contact with water by forming super-hydrophilic nanofibres with narrow diameters and smaller pore size distributions, while also significantly changing the surface charge of the material and shifting the isoelectric point of the surface from 3 to 4.4. The specific surface area of the membranes was also increased by up to 4 times upon ionic liquid loading, which was found to support efficient coronavirus capture and filtration efficiency. This new strategy represents a promising way to control surface properties of virus filtration membranes towards efficient and targeted remediation solutions.

Original languageBritish English
Article number102278
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Charged nanofibres
  • Electrospun membranes
  • Ionic liquid composite
  • Super-hydrophilic
  • Virus filtration


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