Quantification of the Retention and Disassembly of Virus Particles by a PEI-Functionalized Microfiltration Membrane

Swarupa Chatterjee, Robert Molenaar, Wiebe M. De Vos, Hendrik D.W. Roesink, R. Martijn Wagterveld, Jeroen J.L.M. Cornelissen, Mireille M.A.E. Claessens*, Christian Blum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Monitoring the performance of polymer-functionalized surfaces that aim at removing and inactivating viruses is typically labor-intensive and time-consuming. This hampers the development and optimization of such surfaces. Here we present experiments of low complexity that can be used to characterize and quantify the antiviral properties of polymer-functionalized surfaces. We showcase our approach on polyethylenimine (PEI)-coated poly(ether sulfone) (PES) microfiltration membranes. We use a fluorescently labeled model virus to quantify both virus removal and inactivation. We directly quantify the log removal of intact viruses by this membrane using single particle counting. Additionally, we exploit the change in photophysical properties upon disassembly of the virus to show that viruses are inactivated by the PEI coating. Although only a small fraction of intact viruses can pass the membrane, a considerable fraction of inactivated, disassembled viruses are found in the filtrate. Fluorescence microscopy experiments show that most of the viruses left behind on the microfiltration membrane are in the inactivated, disassembled state. Combined, our fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy experiments show that not only does the model virus adsorb to the PEI coating on the membrane but also the interaction with PEI results in the disassembly of the virus capsid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5173-5179
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number7
Early online date27 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2022


  • fluorescence microscopy
  • fluorescence spectroscopy
  • microfiltration
  • virucidal surface
  • virus inactivation
  • virus retention
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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