Jan 8, 2021

Fast transport in carbon nanotube membranes could advance human health

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, nanotechnology

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have discovered that carbon nanotube membrane pores could enable ultra-rapid dialysis processes that would greatly reduce treatment time for hemodialysis patients.

The ability to separate molecular constituents in complex solutions is crucial to many biological and man-made processes. One way is via the application of a concentration gradient across a . This drives ions or molecules smaller than the diameters from one side of the to the other while blocking anything that is too large to fit through the pores.

In nature, such as those in the kidney or liver can perform complex filtrations while still maintaining high throughput. Synthetic membranes, however, often struggle with a well-known trade-off between selectivity and permeability. The same that dictate what can and cannot pass through the membrane inevitably reduce the rate at which filtration can occur.

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