Cellulose acetate membrane embedded with graphene oxide-silver nanocomposites and its ability to suppress microbial proliferation
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Bacterial adhesion and consequent biofilm formation are one the biggest hurdles in membrane-based technologies. Due to numerous problems associated with bacterial colonization on membrane surfaces, the development of new approaches to prevent microbial growth has been encouraged. Graphene oxide, produced by the chemical exfoliation of graphite, is a highly water-dispersible nanomaterial which has been used as a platform for the anchoring of nanoparticles and bioactive molecules. In this present study, we propose the fabrication of antimicrobial membranes through the incorporation of graphene oxide-silver nanocomposites into a cellulose acetate polymeric matrix. Transmission electron microscopy, Raman, and UV–visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy measurements confirmed the presence of graphene oxide-silver sheets in the modified membranes. In comparison to pristine membranes, membranes containing graphene oxide-silver nanocomposites showed larger surface pores and increased pure water flux. In addition, membranes embedded with graphene oxide-silver presented strong antibacterial activity, being able to inactivate adhered bacteria at a rate of 90% compared to pristine cellulose acetate membranes. Our results strongly suggest that the incorporation of graphene oxide-silver nanocomposites to cellulose acetate is a promising strategy to produce membranes that are able to minimize bacterial attachment and growth.
KeywordsGraphene oxide Silver nanoparticles Graphene-based nanocomposites Cellulose acetate membranes Antimicrobial activity
The authors would like to thank to the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP), the National Council for Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq), and the National Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation in Complex Functional Materials (INOMAT/INCT) for their financial support. The authors also thank Dr. Carlos Alberto Paula Leite for his assistance on the TEM analysis. The authors also thank the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory for Research in Energy and Materials for its technical support on the XPS analysis.
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