Superfund Research Program
Biomimetic Magnetic Nanocomposites as a Platform Technology for the Capture and Sensing of PCBs
Project Leader: James Zach Hilt
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 2014-2019
- Project Summary
The overall goal of the Biomimetic Magnetic Nanocomposites as a Platform Technology for the Capture and Sensing of PCBs project is to develop a magnetic nanocomposite platform that allows for the selective capture of PCB congeners with a range of affinities and selectivities. In aim 1, Hilt and his researchers are synthesizing and characterizing the physicochemical properties of magnetic nanocomposites (i.e., biomimetic polymeric networks coated on the surface of magnetic nanoparticles) with the ability to capture/release or capture/sense PCB congeners with tunable affinity and selectivity. To date, the researchers have successfully developed and characterized a couple polyphenol based magnetic nanoparticle systems, where the polyphenolic moieties are potential binding sites for the PCBs. In aim 2, the research team is characterizing the functionality of the synthesized nanomaterials, including binding, capture/release, and fluorescence sensing analysis. To date, they have completed preliminary binding studies on the systems synthesized in aim 1, and they have initiated the sensing aspect using fluorescence spectroscopy as a tool for sensing PCBs in solution. In aim 3, researchers are applying these novel nanomaterials for the selective capture and sensing of PCBs and mixtures, including coplanar, non-coplanar, and mixed congener PCBs and mixtures (e.g. PCBs 126, 153, 118). To date, they have not initiated studies in mixtures. For the preliminary binding studies using their magnetic nanocomposite systems, they have been using spiked PCB126 samples to investigate the affinity of polymeric coating to this model PCB in solution. In these initial studies, the researchers have observed significant binding of PCB126 to multiple magnetic nanocomposite systems synthesized in aim 1. The PCB mixture analysis will be initiated after the researchers have fully characterized their novel nanomaterials in single PCB binding studies.