Nanomembranes in biotechnology: Separation of small and large biomolecules

Conference Dates

March 5-10, 2017


Membranes are widely applied in many industrial areas. However, due to the thickness of the membranes the transport of biomolecules across a membrane is impeded by the relatively long transport times. Nanomembranes, in contrast, provide ultra-fast diffusion times and speed up the transfer of biomolecules significantly. Difficulties in production, the fragility, and hydrophobicity of current nanomembranes prevented their widespread use. However, the key characteristics of nanomembranes are very attractive for a broad variety of applications in e.g. biomedical applications, bioseparation technologies, biosensors, and membrane bioreactors. We have made from hydrophilic polymers in waterproof porous nanomembranes and they are therefore especially suited for use in aqueous media, such as used in biological systems. It can withstand more than tens of thousands time its own weight in water and can be used in a wide pH range and in the presence of a broad range of electrolytes. The porous hydrophilic nanomembranes surface is planar with a thickness between 50-150 nm only with uniform pores and a tensile strength of at least 0.1 MPa. Pore diameter can be adjusted according to application from 10 nm to 500 nm. Currently our porous hydrophilic nanomembranes can be produced on large scale from 1 to 250 cm2. It can additionally comprise (embedded or on the surface) bioactive substances, such as enzymes, substrate receptors, active drugs, etc.. The use of our porous hydrophilic nanomembranes allows for ultra-high speed diffusion of biomolecules, but also selective transport of compounds.

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