Journal article

Viruses at solid-water interfaces: A systematic assessment of interactions driving adsorption

Adsorption to solid-water interfaces is a major process governing the fate of waterborne viruses in natural and engineered systems. The relative contributions of different interaction forces to adsorption and their dependence on the physicochemical properties of the viruses remain, however, only poorly understood. Herein, we systematically studied the adsorption of four bacteriophages (MS2, fr, GA, and Qβ) to five model surfaces with varying surface chemistries and to three dissolved organic matter adlayers as a function of solution pH and ionic strength, using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. The viruses were selected to have similar sizes and shapes but different surface charges, polarities, and topographies, as identified by modeling the distributions of amino acids in the virus capsids. Virus-sorbent interactions were governed by long-ranged electrostatics and favorable contributions from the hydrophobic effect, while shorter-ranged van der Waals interactions were of secondary importance. Steric effects depended on the topographic irregularities on both the virus and sorbent surfaces. Differences in the adsorption characteristics of the tested viruses were successfully linked to differences in their capsid surface properties. Besides identifying the major interaction forces, this work highlights the potential of computable virus surface charge and polarity descriptors to predict virus adsorption to solid-water interfaces.


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