Navigation Links
A nano-solution to global water problem: Nanomembranes could filter bacteria
Date:2/22/2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- New nanomaterials research from the University at Buffalo could lead to new solutions for an age-old public health problem: how to separate bacteria from drinking water.

To the naked eye, both water molecules and germs are invisible -- objects so tiny they are measured by the nanometer, a unit of length about 100,000 times thinner than the width of a human hair.

But at the microscopic level, the two actually differ greatly in size. A single water molecule is less than a nanometer wide, while some of the most diminutive bacteria are a couple hundred.

Working with a special kind of polymer called a block copolymer, a UB research team has synthesized a new kind of nanomembrane containing pores about 55 nanometers in diameter -- large enough for water to slip through easily, but too small for bacteria.

The pore size is the largest anyone has achieved to date using block copolymers, which possess special properties that ensure pores will be evenly spaced, said Javid Rzayev, the UB chemist who led the study. The findings were published online on Jan. 31 in Nano Letters and will appear in the journal's print edition later this year, with UB chemistry graduate student Justin Bolton as lead author.

"These materials present new opportunities for use as filtration membranes," said Rzayev, an assistant professor of chemistry. "Commercial membranes have limitations as far as pore density or uniformity of the pore size. The membranes prepared from block copolymers have a very dense distribution of pores, and the pores are uniform."

"There's a lot of research in this area, but what our research team was able to accomplish is to expand the range of available pores to 50 nanometers in diameter, which was previously unattainable by block-copolymer-based methods," Rzayev continued. "Making pores bigger increases the flow of water, which will translate into cost and time savings. At the same time, 50 to 100 nm diameter pores are small enough not to allow any bacteria through. So, that is a sweet spot for this kind of application."

The new nanomembrane owes its special qualities to the polymers that scientists used to create it. Block copolymers are made up of two polymers that repel one another but are "stitched" together at one end to form the single copolymer.

When many block copolymers are mixed together, their mutual repulsion leads them to assemble in a regular, alternating pattern. The result of that process, called self-assembly, is a solid nanomembrane comprising two different kinds of polymers.

To create evenly spaced pores in the material, Rzayev and colleagues simply removed one of the polymers. The pores' relatively large size was due to the unique architecture of the original block copolymers, which were made from bottle-brush molecules that resemble round hair brushes, with molecular "bristles" protruding all the way around a molecular backbone.

The research on nanomembranes is part of a larger suite of studies Rzayev is conducting on bottle-brush molecules using a National Science Foundation CAREER award, the foundation's most prestigious award for junior investigators. His other work includes the fabrication of organic nanotubes for drug delivery, and the assembly of layered, bottle-brush polymers that reflect visible light like the wings of a butterfly do.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlotte Hsu
chsu22@buffalo.edu
716-645-4655
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Thousands Rally in Mexico City and Call for Human Rights Protections in Global AIDS Response
2. Verenium Corporation to Present at Canaccord Adams 28th Annual Global Growth Conference
3. Forward step in forecasting global warming
4. SENOMYX TO WEBCAST CORPORATE PRESENTATION AT THE CANACCORD ADAMS 28TH ANNUAL GLOBAL GROWTH CONFERENCE
5. Bionovo to Present at Canaccord Adams Global Growth Conference
6. Pharmasset to Present at the Canaccord Adams Global Growth Conference on Tuesday, August 12th
7. Duff & Phelps Acquires Lumin Expert Group To Build Global Intellectual Property Practice
8. Repair Stem Cell Institute Announces Industrys First Standards of Excellence for Global Stem Cell Treatment Centers to Protect Patients from Less-than-Competent Therapeutics
9. Mindray Medical to Attend Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Unplugged Conference
10. Oncothyreon announces receipt of notice of non-compliance with market value of listed securities standard for listing on The NASDAQ Global Market
11. 3SBio Inc. to Present at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Unplugged Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... ... VIC Technology Venture Development™ (VIC™), is pleased to announce that ... continues to strengthen and diversify VIC’s board. , "We are excited to have Jamie ... accomplished business executive with a broad range of experience directly relevant to VIC as ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... Corporate Directors Forum is recognizing ... annual Director of the Year Awards. , The awards will be presented Thursday, September ... annual event celebrates directors who have made significantly positive contributions in the boardrooms of ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Sourcing custom glass or quartz parts can ... the capabilities to properly execute your job can take many hours of emails, phone ... sourcing portal designed to showcase the company’s capabilities and core custom categories, and enables ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... July 18, 2017 , ... Blood ... affect patients across the region. Nationally, summer is a struggle for community blood centers ... why the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/24/2017)... MILAN , March 24, 2017 The Controller ... Deputy Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international ... Continue Reading ... ... small picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based and Touchless), Product ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD 18.98 billion by ... Continue Reading ... ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
(Date:3/22/2017)...   Neurotechnology , a provider of high-precision ... the release of the SentiVeillance 6.0 ... recognition using up to 10 surveillance, security and ... new version uses deep neural-network-based facial detection and ... a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for enhanced speed. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):