Enzymatic modification of polyethersulfone (PES) membranes has been found not only feasible, but also an environmentally attractive way to vary surface properties systematically. In this paper, we summarize the effect of modification layers on protein adsorption and bacterial adhesion on PES membranes and surfaces. The enzyme laccase was used to covalently bind (poly)phenolic acids to the membrane, and compared to other membrane modification methods, this method is very mild and did not influence the mechanical strength negatively. Depending on the conditions used during modification, the modification layers were capable of influencing interactions with typical fouling species, such as protein, and to influence attachment of microorganisms. We also show that the modification method can be successfully applied to hollow fiber membranes; and depending on the pore size of the base membrane, proteins were partially rejected by the membrane. In conclusion, we have shown that enzymatic membrane modification is a versatile and economically attractive method that can be used to influence various interactions that normally lead to surface contamination, pore blocking, and considerable flux loss in membranes.
- catalyzed modification