(123e) Aquaporin Based Biomimetic Membranes
Nature has developed a most efficient way for water transport across an osmotic pressure gradient via aquaporin proteins. The aquaporins or water channel proteins, typically bound in phospholipid cellular membranes, are highly permeable to water but highly retentive to solutes. This makes the water delivery across a cell at a sufficiently low energy cost. This presentation will review the difference designs reported in the recent literature for fabricating aquaporin-based biomimetic membranes. Their advantages and potential issues will be discussed. The presentation will then focus on our latest developments in this topic. The permeability and rejection of aquaporin proteins in different vesicular structures have been characterized using stopped flow measurements. An artificial membrane has been developed to mimic the natural cellular membranes by incorporating aquaporins into an ultrathin rejection layer. The resulting aquaporin biomimetic membrane showed good mechanical stability, water permeability, and salt rejection, with strong potential for water purification, wastewater reuse and seawater desalination applications.