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Spherical DNA for Probing Wettability of Microplastics

Description: Wettability of microplastics may change due to chemical or physical transformations at their surface. In this work, we studied the adsorption of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) with a gold nanoparticle core and linear DNA of the same sequence to probe the wettability of microplastics. Soaking microplastics in water at room temperature for 3 months resulted in the enhancement of SNA adsorption capacity and affinity, whereas linear DNA adsorption was the same on the fresh and soaked microplastics. Drying of the soaked microplastics followed by rehydration decreased the adsorption of the SNA, suggesting that the effect of soaking was reversible and related to physical changes instead of chemical changes to the microplastics. Raman spectroscopy data also revealed no chemical transformations of the soaked microplastics. Heating of microplastics over a short period induced a similar effect to long-term soaking. We propose that soaking or heating removes air entrapped in the nanosized pores at the water-plastic interface, increasing the contact surface area of the SNA to afford stronger adsorption. However, such wetted porosity would not change the adsorption of linear DNA because of its much smaller size.
Authors: Zandieh, Mohamad; University of Waterloo; ORCID iD
Hogan, Úna E.; University of Waterloo
Smith, Rodney D.L.; University of Waterloo; ORCID iD
Liu, Juewen; University of Waterloo; ORCID iD
Keywords: microplastics
water treatment
Spherical DNA
Field of Research: 
Chemical sciences
Analytical chemistry
Sensor technology (chemical aspects)
Publication Date: 2023-04-12
Publisher: Federated Research Data Repository / dépôt fédéré de données de recherche
Related Identifiers: 
Appears in Collections:Water Institute

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Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0)
Zandieh, M., Hogan, U., Smith, R., Liu, J. (2023). Spherical DNA for Probing Wettability of Microplastics. Federated Research Data Repository.