Special Issue "Responsive Polymer Membranes"

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A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Fabrication and Characterization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Annarosa Gugliuzza (Website)

Institute on Membrane Technology—Research National Council (ITM-CNR), c/o University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci, 17C, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy
Fax: +39 984 402103
Interests: responsive membranes; electromembranes; composite membranes; honeycomb membranes; polyelectrolytes; nano assembly; layer-by-layer; wetting properties; membrane transport phenomena; biosensors; labs-on-a-chip; drug-delivery systems; textiles; packaging; gas separation; membrane contactors; catalytic membrane reactors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Responsive polymeric membranes and smart gels are sophisticated systems where permeability valves can be controlled by external triggers through on-off switches. Synthesis and assembly of smart materials represent an attractive issue for the realization of nanodevices that may find application in (bio)sensors, actuators, drug delivery systems, drug discovery, clinical diagnostics, microfluidic systems, (bio)separations, purification, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

For coming years, the transit from passive to ultra-smart membranes is expected to bring key advances and innovation in Health, Environment, Food and Textile, yielding the real opportunity to combine efficiency with safety and security.

The category of responsive membranes associates adaptive ability with reactive functions when changing surrounding media and includes flat and hollow-fiber membranes, nanocomposites layers, free-standing hydrogels, micro-capsules, switchable interfaces, core-shell structures.

In all these cases, controlled porosity, texture and chemical composition are coupled with adaptive properties, such as pH-response, ionic-strength-response, thermo-response, light-response, electrical and magnetic-response and molecular-recognition.

Complementary functions, including sensitivity and programmed transport, are expected to be confined in restricted spaces through synergic synthetic methods and processing techniques.

In this respect, this special issue welcomes original papers and reviews that reflect breakthroughs in:

  1. Synthesis of materials with controlled structure and chemical composition that show selective responsiveness.

  2. Sophisticated fabrication strategies to build up engineered structures where sensing, biosensing, separation, catalysis, and delivery properties are interplayed on multiple scale lengths.

  3. Molecular design based on experimental and theoretical studies dedicated to the understanding of ‘on-off valves’ mechanisms.

  4. Emerging applications including target-molecule delivery, micro-reactors, scaffolds, micro and ultrafiltration, switchable surfaces, active sensors and tissue engineering.

  5. System integration: working sensing systems, microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip.

Dr. Annarosa Gugliuzza
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • sensing membranes
  • sensors
  • intelligent materials
  • actuators
  • adaptive systems

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Review

Open AccessEditorial Intelligent Membranes: Dream or Reality?
Membranes 2013, 3(3), 151-154; doi:10.3390/membranes3030151
Received: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 11 July 2013 / Published: 15 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (133 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Intelligent materials are claimed to overcome current drawbacks associated with the attainment of high standards of life, health, security and defense. Membrane-based sensors represent a category of smart systems capable of providing a large number of benefits to different markets of textiles, [...] Read more.
Intelligent materials are claimed to overcome current drawbacks associated with the attainment of high standards of life, health, security and defense. Membrane-based sensors represent a category of smart systems capable of providing a large number of benefits to different markets of textiles, biomedicine, environment, chemistry, agriculture, architecture, transport and energy. Intelligent membranes can be characterized by superior sensitivity, broader dynamic range and highly sophisticated mechanisms of autorecovery. These prerogatives are regarded as the result of multi-compartment arrays, where complementary functions can be accommodated and well-integrated. Based on the mechanism of “sense to act”, stimuli-responsive membranes adapt themselves to surrounding environments, producing desired effects such as smart regulation of transport, wetting, transcription, hydrodynamics, separation, and chemical or energy conversion. Hopefully, the design of new smart devices easier to manufacture and assemble can be realized through the integration of sensing membranes with wireless networks, looking at the ambitious challenge to establish long-distance communications. Thus, the transfer of signals to collecting systems could allow continuous and real-time monitoring of data, events and/or processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Polymer Membranes)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Molecularly Imprinted Membranes
Membranes 2012, 2(3), 440-477; doi:10.3390/membranes2030440
Received: 18 April 2012 / Revised: 20 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 19 July 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (806 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the roots of molecularly imprinted polymers lie in the beginning of 1930s in the past century, they have had an exponential growth only 40–50 years later by the works of Wulff and especially by Mosbach. More recently, it was also proved [...] Read more.
Although the roots of molecularly imprinted polymers lie in the beginning of 1930s in the past century, they have had an exponential growth only 40–50 years later by the works of Wulff and especially by Mosbach. More recently, it was also proved that molecular imprinted membranes (i.e., polymer thin films) that show recognition properties at molecular level of the template molecule are used in their formation. Different procedures and potential application in separation processes and catalysis are reported. The influences of different parameters on the discrimination abilities are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Polymer Membranes)
Open AccessReview Light Responsive Polymer Membranes: A Review
Membranes 2012, 2(1), 134-197; doi:10.3390/membranes2010134
Received: 20 December 2011 / Revised: 4 February 2012 / Accepted: 16 February 2012 / Published: 2 March 2012
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (1840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, stimuli responsive materials have gained significant attention in membrane separation processes due to their ability to change specific properties in response to small external stimuli, such as light, pH, temperature, ionic strength, pressure, magnetic field, antigen, chemical composition, and [...] Read more.
In recent years, stimuli responsive materials have gained significant attention in membrane separation processes due to their ability to change specific properties in response to small external stimuli, such as light, pH, temperature, ionic strength, pressure, magnetic field, antigen, chemical composition, and so on. In this review, we briefly report recent progresses in light-driven materials and membranes. Photo-switching mechanisms, valved-membrane fabrication and light-driven properties are examined. Advances and perspectives of light responsive polymer membranes in biotechnology, chemistry and biology areas are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Polymer Membranes)
Open AccessReview Thin Hydrogel Films for Optical Biosensor Applications
Membranes 2012, 2(1), 40-69; doi:10.3390/membranes2010040
Received: 31 December 2011 / Revised: 18 January 2012 / Accepted: 29 January 2012 / Published: 8 February 2012
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (628 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydrogel materials consisting of water-swollen polymer networks exhibit a large number of specific properties highly attractive for a variety of optical biosensor applications. This properties profile embraces the aqueous swelling medium as the basis of biocompatibility, non-fouling behavior, and being not cell [...] Read more.
Hydrogel materials consisting of water-swollen polymer networks exhibit a large number of specific properties highly attractive for a variety of optical biosensor applications. This properties profile embraces the aqueous swelling medium as the basis of biocompatibility, non-fouling behavior, and being not cell toxic, while providing high optical quality and transparency. The present review focuses on some of the most interesting aspects of surface-attached hydrogel films as active binding matrices in optical biosensors based on surface plasmon resonance and optical waveguide mode spectroscopy. In particular, the chemical nature, specific properties, and applications of such hydrogel surface architectures for highly sensitive affinity biosensors based on evanescent wave optics are discussed. The specific class of responsive hydrogel systems, which can change their physical state in response to externally applied stimuli, have found large interest as sophisticated materials that provide a complex behavior to hydrogel-based sensing devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Polymer Membranes)
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Open AccessReview Stimuli Responsive Ionogels for Sensing Applications—An Overview
Membranes 2012, 2(1), 16-39; doi:10.3390/membranes2010016
Received: 20 December 2011 / Revised: 23 January 2012 / Accepted: 2 February 2012 / Published: 7 February 2012
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This overview aims to summarize the existing potential of “Ionogels” as a platform to develop stimuli responsive materials. Ionogels are a class of materials that contain an Ionic Liquid (IL) confined within a polymer matrix. Recently defined as “a solid [...] Read more.
This overview aims to summarize the existing potential of “Ionogels” as a platform to develop stimuli responsive materials. Ionogels are a class of materials that contain an Ionic Liquid (IL) confined within a polymer matrix. Recently defined as “a solid interconnected network spreading throughout a liquid phase”, the ionogel therefore combines the properties of both its solid and liquid components. ILs are low melting salts that exist as liquids composed entirely of cations and anions at or around 100 °C. Important physical properties of these liquids such as viscosity, density, melting point and conductivity can be altered to suit a purpose by choice of the cation/anion. Here we provide an overview to highlight the literature thus far, detailing the encapsulation of IL and responsive materials within these polymeric structures. Exciting applications in the areas of optical and electrochemical sensing, solid state electrolytes and actuating materials shall be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Polymer Membranes)

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