Biomimetic nanopores: learning from and about nature

Trends Biotechnol. 2011 Dec;29(12):607-14. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2011.07.006. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


Through recent advances in nanotechnology and molecular engineering, biomimetics - the development of synthetic systems that imitate biological structures and processes - is now emerging at the nanoscale. In this review, we explore biomimetic nanopores and nanochannels. Biological systems are full of nano-scale channels and pores that inspire us to devise artificial pores that demonstrate molecular selectivity or other functional advantages. Moreover, with a biomimetic approach, we can also study biological pores, through bottom-up engineering approaches whereby constituent components can be investigated outside the complex cellular environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetic Materials*
  • Biomimetics*
  • Models, Biological
  • Nanopores*
  • Nanotubes*