In this study, we fabricated a plastic microfluidic device embedded with polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibrous membrane for use as a filter for the removal of bacteria from contaminated water. A microfluidic device was fabricated by sandwiching an electrospun PCL nanofibrous membrane between two layers of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) substrates. On the top PMMA layer, a serpentine microchannel was engraved, and 165 through holes were drilled along the microchannel. The bottom PMMA layer contained four rectangular pillars in the center to prevent the collapse of the PCL membrane. To reduce the hydrophobic nature of the PCL membrane and to allow it attain antimicrobial functionality, the surfaces of the nanofibers were coated with dopamine. Scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and contact angle measurements confirmed the successful fabrication of the hydrophilic PCL membrane. Contaminated water was introduced at a flow rate of 2 mL/hr, screening 10 mL of fluid within 5 hr. Ultraviolet visible spectrophotometry and colony forming unit counting confirmed the removal of bacteria from contaminated water as compared with control (up to 80%), while dopamine-coated nanofibrous membranes also exhibited antimicrobial activities. This justified the potential of utilization of the microfluidic device in water treatment systems.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. NRF-2017R1A2B4008179). Also, this research was supported by the National Strategic Project-Fine Particle of the NRF funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), the Ministry of Environment (ME), and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) (2017M3D8A1092015).
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- functionalization of polymers
- separation techniques