Planar Biomimetic Aquaporin-Incorporated Triblock Copolymer Membranes On Porous Solid Supports
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The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the preparation and characterization of planar biomimetic bacterial water-channel protein Aquaporin Z (AQPZ)-incorporated polymer membranes on porous solid substrates by vesicle spreading for water treatment. AQPZ -incorporated polymer vesicles were prepared from disulfide-functionalized poly(2-methyloxazoline)-block-poly(dimethylsiloxane)-block-poly(2-methyloxazoline) (disulfide-functionalized PDMS20-PDMS75-PMOXA20) tri-block copolymer which was previously proven to be able to maintain protein activity after the incorporation as occurred in lipid vesicles. AQPZ -incorporated vesicle permeability was evaluated using stopped-flow spectroscopy. The results demonstrate that AQPZ could maintain its performance after inserting into polymer vesicles. The vesicles were designed with disulfide functional end groups to enhance vesicle spreading on gold-coated solid substrates by covalent interactions between polymer membranes and substrates. The morphology of polymer membranes on difference types of porous solid substrates were elucidated by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and field-emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). For the first time, AQPZ -incorporated polymer vesicles were demonstrated to be able to form planar AQPZ -incorporated polymer membranes on the porous substrates.