Nanomembranes are the principal building block of basically all living organisms, and without them life as we know it would not be possible. Yet in spite of their ubiquity, for a long time their artificial counterparts have mostly been overlooked in mainstream microsystem and nanosystem technologies, being a niche topic at best, instead of holding their rightful position as one of the basic structures in such systems. Synthetic biomimetic nanomembranes are essential in a vast number of seemingly disparate fields, including separation science and technology, sensing technology, environmental protection, renewable energy, process industry, life sciences and biomedicine. In this study, we review the possibilities for the synthesis of inorganic, organic and hybrid nanomembranes mimicking and in some way surpassing living structures, consider their main properties of interest, give a short overview of possible pathways for their enhancement through multifunctionalization, and summarize some of their numerous applications reported to date, with a focus on recent findings. It is our aim to stress the role of functionalized synthetic biomimetic nanomembranes within the context of modern nanoscience and nanotechnologies. We hope to highlight the importance of the topic, as well as to stress its great applicability potentials in many facets of human life.
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