Protein separation performance of self-assembled block copolymer membranes


A comprehensive study of the separation performance of highly porous self-assembled integral asymmetric block copolymer membranes was carried out. Four different polystyrene-b-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) diblock copolymers were used to prepare membranes with pore sizes increasing with the molecular weight of the polymers. The pore sizes vary from 17 nm to 53 nm. Clean water fluxes and the adsorption of lysozyme, myoglobin, haemoglobin, catalase and ferritin on the membranes were studied. Diffusion rates of the proteins were examined and selectivities are discussed. The membranes show promising results regarding the separation of different proteins in the range of around four to twelve nm. The characteristics of PS-b-P4VP diblock copolymer membranes were compared with a commercially available polycarbonate track-etched membrane.
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