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Nanocellulose-Based Membrane Filtration Material
Nanocellulose is among the emerging materials of this century and several studies have proven its use in filtering microbes. Its high specific surface area enables the adsorption of various microbial species, and its innate porosity can separate various molecules and retain microbial objects.
Throughout the evolutionary process, among the significant issues faced by society today are the protection of natural resources and the implementation of eco-friendly approaches to sustaining a high quality of life. Environmental pollution is a worldwide concern and the majority of pollutants have long-term negative impacts on humans. Focusing on microbial pollution, the most common bulk transportation media for particulate contaminants are air and water. Microbes are microscopic living organisms that can be found everywhere, including in water, soil and air, but they are too small to be seen with the naked eye. These microbes are commonly viruses, bacteria, and fungi and may involve microscopic parasites. Certain microbes are harmful to our health, while others are beneficial. Table 1 shows several types of infectious diseases caused by microbes.
Table 1. Several infectious diseases caused by microbes.
|Infectious Disease||Microbe That Causes the Disease||Type of Microbe||Reference|
|Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)||Virus|||
|Whooping cough||Bordatella pertussis||Bacteria|||
|Bubonic plague||Yersinia pestis||Bacteria|||
|TB (Tuberculosis)||Mycobacterium tuberculosis||Bacteria|||
|Tinea barbae (dermatophyte infection)||Trichophyton rubrum||Fungus|||
|Athletes’ foot||Trichophyton mentagrophytes||Fungus|||
Microbes can also be transmitted through the air. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), airborne transmission differs from droplet transmission as it refers to the presence of microbes within droplet nuclei that are typically less than 5 μm in diameter and can circulate in the air for significant periods and be transmitted to others over distances more than 1 m . Whereas droplet transmission occurs when a person is in close contact (within 1 m) with a symptomatic patient with respiratory symptoms such as coughing or sneezing and is thus at risk of exposure to potentially infective respiratory droplets (typically >5–10 μm in diameter). Nowadays, the threat of the newly discovered infectious coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is worrying, as this pandemic outbreak has already killed millions of people worldwide. The outbreak is exacerbated by the occurrence of frequent mutations, which makes it difficult to rapidly produce omnipotent vaccines . Therefore, an effective, robust, and inexpensive air-borne virus removal membrane filter is an urgent need to provide a means to prevent virus spread in hospitals, transportation hubs, schools, and other venues with high social traffic turn-over in order to minimize the risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microbe removal can be done through a variety of methods, such as, filtration (either depth filtration or surface screening), partitioning and fractionation (centrifugation), and chromatography (ion-exchange, affinity, gel permeation) . Of these different techniques, filtration is a desirable choice, as it is non-destructive and non-interfering, implying that it will not threaten the quality of biological samples or induce immune reactions. Membrane filters have been made from a variety of synthetic and semi-synthetic polymers, designed to achieve a desired filtration pore size. The membrane filter is also an effective and widely used method for detecting microbiological pollution in collection samples. It requires less planning than certain other conventional methods and is one of the few methods that allows for microorganism separation and subsequent determination. Microbes cannot be retained by the normal membrane filter because the membrane pores are too large. Therefore, it is critical to have a more effective material for microbe filtration, and there are studies that have led to the discovery of new filtering media made from cellulose with efficient filtration capability. The ultimate objective would be to be able to effectively and securely filter microbes from the environment at an affordable cost.
2. Recent Developments on Nanocellulose as a Filtration Material against Microbes
|Microbes||Type of Nanocellulose||Functionalization||Findings||Reference|
|A/swine/Sweden/9706/2010 (H1N2)—Swine influenza||BNC||Not applicable||
|Xenotropic murine||BNC||Not applicable||
|MS2 viruses||BNC||Not applicable||
|EV71||CNF||Polyglutamic acid and mesoporous silica nanoparticles||
|Porcine parvo virus||CNC||Guanidine||
|Microbes||Type of Nanocellulose||Functionalization||Findings||Reference|
|Escherichia coli||CNC||Silver nanoparticles||
|Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli||CNF||ZnO and CeO2||
|Escherichia coli||BNC||Not applicable||
|Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus||CNF||Activated carbon||
|Escherichia coli||BNC||Silver nanoparticle||
|Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa||BNC||Silver nanoparticle||
|Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus||BNC||Silver nanoparticle||
|Escherichia coli||CNF||Polyethersulfone (PES) membranes||
2.3. Other Types of Microbes
This entry is adapted from 10.3390/polym13193249
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