Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research

Preparation of single-walled carbon nanotubes/polyvinylchloride membrane and its antibacterial property.

PMID 23032754


Polyvinylchloride (PVC) ultrafiltration membranes were modified by blending with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) to improve the membranes' antibacterial property. Both modified and control samples were characterized for pore structure, roughness, hydrophilicity, permeability and mechanical properties. The membranes' antibacterial property was accessed with Escherichia coli as the model microbes by several methods. It was found that, after being blended with SWCNTs, the surface roughness of the modified membrane increased. Also, the surface hydrophilicity was improved. The membrane flux increased accordingly. But the membrane elongation decreased obviously with the SWCNTs addition. The modified membranes did not show the antibacterial property as expected in this research. There was no bacterial inhibition circle around the SWCNTs/PVC membrane coupons in the culture plates. There were no morphological differences of the cells on the control and the modified membranes. Hoechst 33342/propidium iodide stain test showed that there were more than 90% living bacterial cells which could grow on the SWCNTs/PVC membranes. This study suggests that the polymer wrapping may reduce the SWCNTs' antibacterial property greatly.