Surface modification to reduce biofouling on water quality monitoring devices

Biofouling is the unwanted accumulation of proteins and microorganisms on wetted surfaces. Accumulation of biofoulers on sensors and microfluidic devices greatly impairs their performance in assessing the physical, chemical, and biological condition of natural and processed water. Failure to obtain accurate data on these changes and respond in a timely manner may lead to serious health consequences and hinder natural water preservation. This issue was expressed at the 2014 MacWater meeting, where leading research groups and international water industries were in attendance. Chemical modification of material surfaces has been utilised to create protein resistant, and subsequently, antifouling materials. Through the collaboration with leading experts in this field at Soochow University, we hope to gain expertise in polyethylene glycol (PEG) grafting methods to resist long term biofouling on a variety of polymer based materials. Their expertise will improve current and future sensors and microfluidic devices developed by MacWater research groups. Thus, this research opportunity will facilitate international collaboration for global water quality management.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Qiyin Fang


Sharon Goh






McMaster University


Globalink Research Award

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