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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 304972, 9 pages
Research Article

Improving Anti-Protein-Fouling Property of Polyacrylonitrile Ultrafiltration Membrane by Grafting Sulfobetaine Zwitterions

College of Chemical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China

Received 29 November 2013; Accepted 3 February 2014; Published 10 March 2014

Academic Editor: Marinos Pitsikalis

Copyright © 2014 Hong Meng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Zwitterions show great superiority in the field of polymer membrane surface functionalization, as the synthesis process is simple, the adaptability of functional groups is strong, and zwitterions with strong hydration capacity in aqueous solutions can inhibit protein adsorption. In this study, a polyacrylonitrile ultrafiltration membrane was modified to improve anti-protein-fouling capacity by grafting short-chain sulfonic type zwitterions. 3-Dimethylaminopropylamine was first grafted onto hydrolyzed polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane by the activation of 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC). Subsequently, sulfobetaine zwitterions emerged on the membrane surface by quaternization of 1,3-propane sultone. The sulfobetaine zwitterionic membranes were analyzed for surface chemical composition, hydrophilic properties, and surface and cross-sectional structure of the membrane, by a combination of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, contact angle measurement, and scanning electron microscopy. Static protein adsorption and dynamic filtration experiments were undertaken to show that the modified membrane had excellent resistance to protein adsorption. It was found that the molecular weight cutoff of the substrate membrane had great influence on the flux recovery rate of the modified membrane.