Thin Film Polyamide Membranes with Photoresponsive Antibacterial Activity

Membranes containing a photosensitizer molecule as part of the selective layer are proposed with demonstrated anti-biofouling activity. For the membrane preparation, mixtures of an amine-functionalized photosensitizer molecule, (5,10,15,20-(tetra-4-aminophenyl)porphyrin) and m-phenylene diamine (MPD) reacted with trimesoyl chloride (TMC) by interfacial polymerization to form thin polyamide films on top of an asymmetric porous support. A highly permeable membrane (35.4 Lm−2h−1bar−1) with 99 % rejection of Brilliant Blue R (826 g/mol) was obtained using 0.25 wt% porphyrin and 0.75 wt% MPD as amine monomers. Under visible light exposure, singlet oxygen (1O2) is generated in the porphyrin containing-polyamide film, reaching the bacteria in the feed by diffusion and enhancing the biofouling resistance and anti-microbial activity. Anti-biofouling and anti-microbial photoactivity in solution are demonstrated on Staphylococcus aureus at different porphyrin concentrations and light exposure time.

Duong PHH, Hong P-Y, Musteata V, Peinemann KV, Nunes SP (2017) Thin Film Polyamide Membranes with Photoresponsive Antibacterial Activity. ChemistrySelect 2: 6612–6616. Available:

This work was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The authors would like to thank N.L. Le for her help with the PEI membrane preparation.




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