Irrespective of all affirmative physiochemical properties of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow fiber (HF) membrane, its promotion to be served for water purification function is significantly threatened by biofouling which is known as the primary problem in the membrane technology. The hydrophobic nature of PTFE attracts biofoulants leading to the pore blockage and lowering of the flux and functional life. Thus, this investigation aimed to devise an innovative silan-mediated polydopamine (PDA) coating incorporated with ZnO nanoparticles (NP) to trim the surface of the PTFE HF membrane and subsequently increase its functional property and biofouling resistivity. SEM images and EDX spectroscopies showed the time-dependent growth of PDA coating and elemental analysis on the surface, respectively. The water contact angle results illustrated the successful transformation of the surface characteristics of the PTFE HF membrane from hydrophobic (app. 130°) to superhydrophilic (0°) after surface modification. An exclusive dead-end cell was devised to comparatively evaluate the permeation and protein separation of surface-modified and pure PTFE HF membranes under constant pressure. Filtration tests’ results, alongside the microbial assessments, revealed that the modified membranes showed a lower tendency towards biofouling. The outcomes of this study shed light on addressing the key challenges of today's demands for harnessing membrane biofouling and remarkably expand the PTFE HF membrane’s potential to be utilized in advanced water treatment technology.Keywords: Superhydrophilicity, polytetrafluoroethylene, zinc oxide nanoparticle, hollow fiber membrane, surface treatment, biofouling resistivity
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