Tarabara Research Group


We are a research group in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University. Our interests are at the junction of colloid and interface science and separation science. Most recent projects in our group have been on the adhesion and removal of viruses and on liquid-liquid separations. Practical needs and engineering applications that motivate this research include water treatment and reuse, industrial pollution control and biosafety monitoring.

Representative publications

Virus adhesion, detection and removal Separation of oil-water emulsions
  Biotechnol. Prog. Accepted (doi)   J. Membr. Sci. 617 (2021) 118607 (doi)
  J. Colloid Interface Sci. 581 (2021) 884–894 (doi)   Separ. Purif. Technol. 248 (2020) 116919 (doi)
  J. Colloid Interface Sci. 540 (2019) 155-166 (doi)   J. Colloid Interface Sci. 560 (2020) 247–259 (doi)
  J. Virol. Methods 256 (2018) 123-132 (doi)   Water Res. 156 (2019) 347-365 (doi)
  Environ. Sci. Water Res. Technol. 3 (2017) 778-792 (doi)   J. Membr. Sci. 537 (2017) 384-395 (doi)
  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82 (2016) 4982-4993 (doi)   J. Membr. Sci. 500 (2016) 211-224 (doi)
  J. Membr. Sci. 482 (2016) 120-127 (doi)    
  Polymer nanocomposite membranes   Membrane surface modification
  Environ. Sci. Nano. 3 (2016) 453-461 (doi)   J. Membr. Sci. 514 (2016) 340-349 (doi)
  J. Membr. Sci. 453 (2014) 478-488 (doi)   J. Membr. Sci. 491 (2015) 149-158 (doi)
  Water Res. 47 (2013) 3984-3996 (doi)   J. Membr. Sci. 469 (2014) 140-150 (doi)
  J. Membr. Sci. 325 (2008) 58-68 (doi)   J. Membr. Sci. 349 (2010) 268-278 (doi)


Recent projects

- In projects on virus removal we work to elucidate mechanisms of virus adhesion to surfaces and transport across porous membranes. We use this knowledge to design membranes that can concentrate human viruses and bacteriophages with high and reproducible recoveries. Such separations should enable reliable detection and accurate quantification of viruses. We also design photocatalytic membranes that can inactivate viruses in high throughput treatment systems.
- To meet environmental regulations removal of finely dispersed oil from water is often required. The efficiency of current separation technologies decreases dramatically with a decrease in oil drop size. Membrane filtration can remove smaller drops but membrane fouling limits broader acceptance of the technology. To overcome this limitation we seek mechanistic understanding of the behavior of oil drops and films at the membrane surface during filtration.