Anti-fouling Graft Copolymer Coatings on Commercial Membranes

Primary Inventors: 

When commercially available polymer membranes are exposed to aqueous solutions of salt, emulsified oil droplets, and other particulate matter, their lifetime can decrease catastrophically due to reduction in flux as a result of membrane fouling. This technology provides a new class of graft copolymers capable of extending the lifespan and functionality of water purification membranes. As a membrane coating material, the graft copolymers have excellent hydrophilicity and anti-fouling properties. In addition, they contain UV-activatable functional groups to enable UV-crosslinking of the copolymers, both within the coating itself to impart structural stability and into the underlying membrane to promote strong adhesion. These graft copolymer coatings are highly effective in preventing fouling of water-filtration membranes, and in maintaining the flux levels necessary for efficient filtration. Unlike other coating materials, the anti-fouling graft copolymers do not delaminate from the membrane substrate. 


 Durable anti-fouling coatings for a wide variety of existing commercial membranes such as ultrafiltration (UF), microfiltration (MF), nanofiltration (NF), and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. 

  • Widely applicable: The novel graft copolymers can be used as anti-fouling coatings for a wide variety of existing commercial membranes.
  • Easily implemented: The anti-fouling coating can be easily prepared by dip-coating or spin-coating the graft copolymer solution onto a membrane substrate.
  • Durable: The anti-fouling membrane coating adheres to the membrane substrate, and does not delaminate when subjected to cross-flow conditions. 
Licensing Status: 
Available for Licensing and Research Collaboration
Patent Status: 

US Patents    7,750,103 



                     8,163,814 issued



UMA 06-31
For More Information: 

Ling X. Shen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Senior Licensing Officer
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property
Phone: 413-545-5276