Strategies to Mitigate Biofouling of Nanocomposite Polymer-Based Membranes in Contact with BloodDominika Wójtowicz, Ewa Stodolak-Zych
- Filtration and Separation
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
An extracorporeal blood purification method called continuous renal replacement therapy uses a porous hollow-fiber polymeric membrane that is exposed to prolonged contact with blood. In that condition, like with any other submerged filtration membrane, the hemofilter loses its properties over time and use resulting in a rapid decline in flux. The most significant reason for this loss is the formation of a biofilm. Protein, blood cells and bacterial cells attach to the membrane surface in complex and fluctuating processes. Anticoagulation allows for longer patency of vascular access and a longer lifespan of the membrane. Other preventive measures include the modification of the membrane itself. In this article, we focused on the role of nanoadditives in the mitigation of biofouling. Nanoparticles such as graphene, carbon nanotubes, and silica effectively change surface properties towards more hydrophilic, affect pore size and distribution, decrease protein adsorption and damage bacteria cells. As a result, membranes modified with nanoparticles show better flow parameters, longer lifespan and increased hemocompatibility.