Membrane fouling by lysozyme: Effect of local interaction

Yunqiao Ma, Andrew L. Zydney, Jia Wei Chew

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12 Scopus citations


Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to understand the adsorption of positive-charged lysozyme onto negative-charged polyvinylidene fluoride membrane at three pH and two ionic strengths. The lysozyme was initialized at six orientations at 10 Å from the membrane and adsorption was deemed to occur when the lysozyme is less than 4 Å from the membrane. Local interactions are clearly important: (i) despite opposite net charges, no adsorption occurs in some cases throughout; (ii) lysozyme-membrane separation distances differ among the initial orientations of lysozyme; and (iii) the correlation between lysozyme-membrane interaction energy and adsorption probability is poor. Correspondingly, seven key local adsorption sites on lysozyme were identified. Of the two most common sites, one anchors due to electrostatics, while the other is not electrostatics-based. Also, different sites are dominant in different feed conditions and have different interaction energies. These results reveal the importance of local interactions in membrane fouling by proteins in different feed conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere17212
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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