Carbon Nanotube Porins in Amphiphilic Block Copolymers as Fully Synthetic Mimics of Biological Membranes

Adv Mater. 2018 Dec;30(51):e1803355. doi: 10.1002/adma.201803355. Epub 2018 Oct 17.


Biological membranes provide a fascinating example of a separation system that is multifunctional, tunable, precise, and efficient. Biomimetic membranes, which mimic the architecture of cellular membranes, have the potential to deliver significant improvements in specificity and permeability. Here, a fully synthetic biomimetic membrane is reported that incorporates ultra-efficient 1.5 nm diameter carbon nanotube porin (CNTPs) channels in a block-copolymer matrix. It is demonstrated that CNTPs maintain high proton and water permeability in these membranes. CNTPs can also mimic the behavior of biological gap junctions by forming bridges between vesicular compartments that allow transport of small molecules.

Keywords: artificial membranes; carbon nanotube porins; carbon nanotubes; fast transport; polymersomes.

MeSH terms

  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Porins / chemistry*


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Nanotubes, Carbon
  • Polymers
  • Porins