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270, No. (1-3), 2011; Pages: 116 - 123

Thermally responsive membrane-based microbiological sensing component for early detection of membrane biofouling

Guang Cai, Colleen Gorey, Amr Zaky, Isabel Escobar, Cyndee Gruden

Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Toledo, 2801 W Bancroft St, Toledo, OH 43606, USA.


Early detection of bacteria in water treatment is desired to mitigate system biofouling and potential human health impacts. This research involved the development of an antibody-based sensor, which was attached to a hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) modified cellulose acetate ultrafiltration membrane surface, to target bacteria. HPC was chosen because it collapses above and expands below a lower critical solution temperature (43 °C), thus allowing temperature modulation. The membrane had a high target recovery efficiency (10–18%) in both single bacterium and complex samples (simulated by adding organics and competitive organisms). Sensor recovery was decreased (to 5–7%) following temperature activation (above 50 °C) due to adverse impacts of temperature on the antibody. The membrane was able to be regenerated (with 0.1 M NaOH) and reused three consecutive times. The thermally responsive sensing membrane developed from this work was specifically developed to detect biofoulants in membrane-based water treatment processes. However, it could be adapted to address a range of environmental detection concerns, such as pathogen detection.

Keywords: Antibody; Detection; Sensor; Membrane



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