Sector(s): Energy & Renewables, Chemical, Energy & Renewables, Food & Drink, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences
Delivery of safe drinking water to a growing global population is a serious challenge. Protozoan pathogens, and especially Cryptosporidium, are particularly problematic since these organisms are ubiquitous in the environment, have an extremely low infectious dose and are resistant to standard chlorination disinfection procedures. However, there are still a considerable number of drawbacks with the existing procedures as the methods are costly, labour-intensive, time consuming, with low recovery rates and little information on the species or viability of any detected pathogens.
This polymer-based technology aims to reduce some of these problems and streamline and improve the process. Initial studies utilizing our novel polymers as filter coatings indicated, as expected, that these coated filters improved the Cryptosporidium recovery and filter performance as compared to those of uncoated samples, due to the specific interactions between the polymers and the protozoa.
Polymer microarray studies revealed different adhesion behaviour between viable and non-viable oocysts and that pH and proteinase K treatment affected binding, whereas surface roughness and wettability do not. Additionally, the technology has been proven in polymer coated 13mm diameter filters.
Priority patent application filed
Targeting Cryptosporidium parvum capture. Wu M et al. Water Research 2012, 46, 1715-1722
The University is seeking industry input and support from water suppliers or filter manufacturers.