Adsorption of viruses to charge-modified silica

K. S. Zerda, C. P. Gerba, K. C. Hou, S. M. Goyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to provide a clearer understanding of virus adsorption, focusing specifically on the role of electrostatic interactions between virus particles and adsorbent surfaces. The adsorption of poliovirus 1, reovirus types 1 and 3, and coliphages MS-2 and T2 to colloidal silica synthetically modified to carry either positive or negative surface charge was evaluated. Adsorption experiments were performed by combining virus and silica in 0.1-ionic-strength buffers of pH 4.0, 6.4, and 8.5. Samples agitated for specified adsorption periods were centrifuged to pellet adsorbent particles plus adsorbed virus, and the supernatants were assayed for unadsorbed virus. All viruses adsorbed exclusively to negatively charged silica at pH values below their isoelectric points, i.e., under conditions favoring a positive surface charge on the virions. Conversely, all viruses adsorbed exclusively to positively charged silica at pH values above their isoelectric points, i.e., where virus surface charge is negative. Viruses in near-isoelectric state adsorbed to all types of silica, albeit to a lesser degree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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