Biological membranes are ideal for separations as they provide high permeability while maintaining high solute selectivity due to the presence of specialized membrane protein (MP) channels. However, successful integration of MPs into manufactured membranes has remained a significant challenge. Here, we demonstrate a two-hour organic solvent method to develop 2D crystals and nanosheets of highly packed pore-forming MPs in block copolymers (BCPs). We then integrate these hybrid materials into scalable MP-BCP biomimetic membranes. These MP-BCP nanosheet membranes maintain the molecular selectivity of the three types of β-barrel MP channels used, with pore sizes of 0.8 nm, 1.3 nm, and 1.5 nm. These biomimetic membranes demonstrate water permeability that is 20–1,000 times greater than that of commercial membranes and 1.5–45 times greater than that of the latest research membranes with comparable molecular exclusion ratings. This approach could provide high performance alternatives in the challenging sub-nanometre to few-nanometre size range.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering