Special Issue "Biomimetic Membranes"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Chuyang Y. Tang

Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong HW619B, China
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +65 6791 0676
Interests: membrane technology; desalination; wastewater reclamation; water chemistry; environmental materials
Guest Editor
Dr. Zhining Wang

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Ocean University of China, 238 Songling Road, Qingdao 266100, China
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 86-532-66782017
Fax: 86-532-66782301
Interests: membrane; separation; biomimetics; water purification; desalination

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nature has developed many amazing membranes. Our kidney, for example, is able to filter large quantities of plasma (~ 180 L/daily for a typical adult) at high selectivity and free of fouling problems over a long life span. Inspired by the compositions, structures, formations, and functions of natural or biological membranes, mankind has designed and prepared different types of biomimetic membranes with striking properties and performances in various fields. These biomimetic membranes paved new ways for resolving key issues in energy and water crises, environmental threats, and human health. According to different demands, biomimetic membranes have been designed with antifouling, self-cleaning, selective permeation/diffusion, antireflection, ion exchange, biocompatibility, and many other functions. Although lots of successful results have been obtained, it still needs tremendous efforts to fully exploit the potentials of biomimetic membranes by more efficient, economical, and practical imitating strategies.

This Special Issue of Membranes welcomes works related to the topic of biomimetic membranes. Both original contributions and reviews on recent advances in biologically inspired and biomimetic membranes, materials and synthesis methods for making these membranes, and their applications in various fields are greatly welcome.

Chuyang Y. Tang
Zhining Wang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Membranes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biological
  • biomimetic
  • bioinspired materials
  • approaches
  • structures
  • membranes

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Bio-Inspired Aquaporinz Containing Double-Skinned Forward Osmosis Membrane Synthesized through Layer-by-Layer Assembly
Membranes 2015, 5(3), 369-384; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5030369
Received: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 10 August 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2079 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We demonstrated a novel AquaporinZ (AqpZ)-incorporated double-skinned forward osmosis (FO) membrane by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly strategy. Positively charged poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) and negatively charged poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) were alternately deposited on both the top and bottom surfaces of a hydrolyzed polyacrylonitrile (H-PAN) substrate. Subsequently, [...] Read more.
We demonstrated a novel AquaporinZ (AqpZ)-incorporated double-skinned forward osmosis (FO) membrane by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly strategy. Positively charged poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) and negatively charged poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) were alternately deposited on both the top and bottom surfaces of a hydrolyzed polyacrylonitrile (H-PAN) substrate. Subsequently, an AqpZ-embedded 1,2-dioleloyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC)/1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium- propane (chloride salt) (DOTAP) supported lipid bilayer (SLB) was formed on PSS-terminated (T-PSS) membrane via vesicle rupture method. The morphology and structure of the biomimetic membranes were characterized by in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectrometer using the attenuated total reflection technique (ATR-FTIR), and contact angle. Moreover, the FO performance of the resultant membrane was measured by using 2 M MgCl2 solution as draw solution and deionized (DI) water as feed solution, respectively. The membrane with a protein-to-lipid weight ratio (P/L) of 1/50 exhibits 13.2 L/m2h water flux and 3.2 g/m2h reversed flux by using FO mode, as well as 15.6 L/m2h water flux and 3.4 L/m2h reversed flux for PRO mode (the draw solution is placed against the active layer). It was also shown that the SLB layer of the double-skinned FO membrane can increase the surface hydrophilicity and reduce the surface roughness, which leads to an improved anti-fouling performance against humic acid foulant. The current work introduced a new method of fabricating high performance biomimetic FO membrane by combining AqpZ and a double-skinned structure based on LbL assembly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Membranes)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Challenges in Commercializing Biomimetic Membranes
Membranes 2015, 5(4), 685-701; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5040685
Received: 24 August 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The discovery of selective water channel proteins—aquaporins—has prompted growing interest in using these proteins, as the building blocks for designing new types of membranes. However, as with any other new and potentially disruptive technology, barriers for successful market entry exist. One category includes [...] Read more.
The discovery of selective water channel proteins—aquaporins—has prompted growing interest in using these proteins, as the building blocks for designing new types of membranes. However, as with any other new and potentially disruptive technology, barriers for successful market entry exist. One category includes customer-related barriers, which can be influenced to some extent. Another category includes market-technical-related barriers, which can be very difficult to overcome by an organization/company aiming at successfully introducing their innovation on the market—in particular if both the organization and the technology are at early stages. Often, one faces barriers from both these categories at the same time, which makes it necessary to gain insight of the particular market when introducing a new innovative product. In this review we present the basic concepts and discuss some of these barriers and challenges associated with introducing biomimetic aquaporin membranes. These include technical issues in membrane production and product testing. Then we discuss possible business models for introducing new technologies in general, followed by a presentation of beach-head market segments relevant for biomimetic aquaporin membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Membranes)
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Open AccessReview Breath Figure Method for Construction of Honeycomb Films
Membranes 2015, 5(3), 399-424; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5030399
Received: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 19 August 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (2946 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Honeycomb films with various building units, showing potential applications in biological, medical, physicochemical, photoelectric, and many other areas, could be prepared by the breath figure method. The ordered hexagonal structures formed by the breath figure process are related to the building units, solvents, [...] Read more.
Honeycomb films with various building units, showing potential applications in biological, medical, physicochemical, photoelectric, and many other areas, could be prepared by the breath figure method. The ordered hexagonal structures formed by the breath figure process are related to the building units, solvents, substrates, temperature, humidity, air flow, and other factors. Therefore, by adjusting these factors, the honeycomb structures could be tuned properly. In this review, we summarized the development of the breath figure method of fabricating honeycomb films and the factors of adjusting honeycomb structures. The organic-inorganic hybrid was taken as the example building unit to discuss the preparation, mechanism, properties, and applications of the honeycomb films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Membranes)
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Open AccessReview Can Stabilization and Inhibition of Aquaporins Contribute to Future Development of Biomimetic Membranes?
Membranes 2015, 5(3), 352-368; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5030352
Received: 6 July 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 10 August 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, the use of biomimetic membranes that incorporate membrane proteins, i.e., biomimetic-hybrid membranes, has increased almost exponentially. Key membrane proteins in these systems have been aquaporins, which selectively permeabilize cellular membranes to water. Aquaporins may be incorporated into synthetic lipid [...] Read more.
In recent years, the use of biomimetic membranes that incorporate membrane proteins, i.e., biomimetic-hybrid membranes, has increased almost exponentially. Key membrane proteins in these systems have been aquaporins, which selectively permeabilize cellular membranes to water. Aquaporins may be incorporated into synthetic lipid bilayers or to more stable structures made of block copolymers or solid-state nanopores. However, translocation of aquaporins to these alien environments has adverse consequences in terms of performance and stability. Aquaporins incorporated in biomimetic membranes for use in water purification and desalination should also withstand the harsh environment that may prevail in these conditions, such as high pressure, and presence of salt or other chemicals. In this respect, modified aquaporins that can be adapted to these new environments should be developed. Another challenge is that biomimetic membranes that incorporate high densities of aquaporin should be defect-free, and this can only be efficiently ascertained with the availability of completely inactive mutants that behave otherwise like the wild type aquaporin, or with effective non-toxic water channel inhibitors that are so far inexistent. In this review, we describe approaches that can potentially be used to overcome these challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Membranes)
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Open AccessReview Aquaporin-Based Biomimetic Polymeric Membranes: Approaches and Challenges
Membranes 2015, 5(3), 307-351; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes5030307
Received: 8 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (10843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In recent years, aquaporin biomimetic membranes (ABMs) for water separation have gained considerable interest. Although the first ABMs are commercially available, there are still many challenges associated with further ABM development. Here, we discuss the interplay of the main components of ABMs: aquaporin [...] Read more.
In recent years, aquaporin biomimetic membranes (ABMs) for water separation have gained considerable interest. Although the first ABMs are commercially available, there are still many challenges associated with further ABM development. Here, we discuss the interplay of the main components of ABMs: aquaporin proteins (AQPs), block copolymers for AQP reconstitution, and polymer-based supporting structures. First, we briefly cover challenges and review recent developments in understanding the interplay between AQP and block copolymers. Second, we review some experimental characterization methods for investigating AQP incorporation including freeze-fracture transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, stopped-flow light scattering, and small-angle X-ray scattering. Third, we focus on recent efforts in embedding reconstituted AQPs in membrane designs that are based on conventional thin film interfacial polymerization techniques. Finally, we describe some new developments in interfacial polymerization using polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane cages for increasing the physical and chemical durability of thin film composite membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Membranes)
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