Surface-Engineered Biocatalytic Composite Membranes for Reduced Protein Fouling and Self-Cleaning

Anbharasi Vanangamudi, Daisuke Saeki, Ludovic F. Dumée, Mikel Duke, Todor Vasiljevic, Hideto Matsuyama, Xing Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A new biocatalytic nanofibrous composite ultrafiltration membrane was developed to reduce protein fouling interactions and self-clean the membrane surface. The dual-layer poly(vinylidenefluoride)/nylon-6,6/chitosan composite membrane contains a hydrophobic poly(vinylidenefluoride) cast support layer and a hydrophilic functional nylon-6,6/chitosan nanofibrous surface layer where enzymes were chemically attached. The intrinsic surface chemistry and high surface area of the nanofibers allowed optimal and stable immobilization of trypsin (TR) and α-chymotrypsin enzymes via direct covalent binding. The enzyme immobilization was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and visualized by confocal microscopy analysis. The prepared biocatalytic composite membranes were nanoporous with superior permeability offering stable protein antiadhesion and self-cleaning properties owing to the repulsive mechanism and digestion of proteins into peptides and amino acids, which was quantified by the gel electrophoresis technique. The TR-immobilized composite membranes exhibited 2.7-fold higher permeance and lower surface protein contamination with 3-fold greater permeance recovery, when compared to the pristine membrane after two ultrafiltration cycles with the model feed solution containing bovine serum albumin/NaCl/CaCl2. The biocatalytic membranes retained about 50% of the enzyme activity after six reuse cycles but were regenerated to 100% activity after enzyme reloading, leading to a simple and cost-effective water remediation operation. Such surface- and pore-engineered membranes with self-cleaning properties offer a viable solution for severe surface protein contamination in food and water applications.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)27477-27487
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number32
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2018


  • antifouling
  • biocatalysts
  • enzymes
  • nanofibers
  • ultrafiltration


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface-Engineered Biocatalytic Composite Membranes for Reduced Protein Fouling and Self-Cleaning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this