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ABSTRACT: Hydrophilic modification of ultrafiltration membranes was achieved through blending of Pluronic F127 with poly(ether sulfone) (PES). The chemical composition and morphology changes of the membrane surface were confirmed by water contact angle, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and protein adsorption measurements. The decreased static water contact angle with an increase in the Pluronic F127 content indicated an increase of surface hydrophilicity. XPS analysis revealed enrichment of PEO segments of Pluronic F127 at the membrane surface. The apparent protein adsorption amount decreased significantly from 56.2 to 0 microg/cm(2) when the Pluronic F127 content varied from 0% to 10.5%, which indicated that the blend membrane had an excellent ability to resist protein adsorption. The ultrafiltration experiments revealed that the Pluronic F127 content had little influence on the protein rejection ratio and pure water flux. Most importantly, at a high Pluronic F127 content membrane fouling, especially irreversible fouling, has been remarkably reduced. The flux recoveries of blend membranes reached as high as 90% after periodic cleaning in three cycles.
Langmuir 01/2006; 21(25):11856-62. · 4.19 Impact Factor