Photocatalytic Degradation of Bacteriophages Evidenced by Atomic Force Microscopy

Emrecan Soylemez, Maarten P. de Boer, Udom Sae-Ueng, Alex Evilevitch, Tom A. Stewart, May Nyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methods to supply fresh water are becoming increasingly critical as the world population continues to grow. Small-diameter hazardous microbes such as viruses (20-100 nm diameter) can be filtered by size exclusion, but in this approach the filters are fouled. Thus, in our research, we are investigating an approach in which filters will be reusable. When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) illumination, titanate materials photocatalytically evolve OH and O2•- radicals, which attack biological materials. In the proposed approach, titanate nanosheets are deposited on a substrate. Viruses adsorb on these nanosheets and degrade when exposed to UV light. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), we image adsorbed viruses and demonstrate that they are removed by UV illumination in the presence of the nanosheets, but not in their absence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53601
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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