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Molecules. 2020 Feb 6;25(3). pii: E691. doi: 10.3390/molecules25030691.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes as an Antibacterial and Antibiofouling Promotor for PES Water Filtration Membranes.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, National University of Sciences & Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.
Materials Engineering Department, School of Chemical & Materials Engineering, National University of Sciences & Technology, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan.


Plant phytochemicals have potential decontaminating properties, however, their role in the amelioration of hydrophobic water filtration membranes have not been elucidated yet. In this work, phytochemicals (i.e., cannabinoids (C) and terpenes (T) from C. sativa) were revealed for their antibacterial activity against different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. As such, a synergistic relationship was observed between the two against all strains. These phytochemicals individually and in combination were used to prepare polyethersulfone (PES) hybrid membranes. Membrane characterizations were carried out using scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Moreover, contact angle, water retention, surface roughness, mechanical testing, and X-ray florescence analysis were also carried out. According to results, the CT-PES hybrid membrane exhibited the lowest contact angle (40°), the highest water retention (70%), and smallest average pore size (0.04 µm). The hybrid membrane also exhibited improved water flux with no surface leaching. Quantitative bacterial decline analysis of the CT-PES hybrid membranes confirmed an effective antibacterial performance against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results of this study established cannabinoids and terpenes as an inexpensive solution for PES membrane surface modification. These hybrid membranes can be easily deployed at an industrial scale for water filtration purposes.


antibacterial activity; antifouling performance; cannabinoids; polyethersulfone ultrafiltration membrane; terpenes

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