Biomimetic nanofluidic diode composed of dual amphoteric channels maintains rectification direction over a wide pH range

Xin Sui, Zhen Zhang, Zhenyu Zhang, Zhiwei Wang, Chao Li, Hao Yuan, Longcheng Gao, Liping Wen, Xia Fan, Lijun Yang, Xinru Zhang, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


pH-gated ion channels in cell membranes play important roles in the cell's physiological activities. Many artificial nanochannels have been fabricated to mimic the natural phenomenon of pH-gated ion transport. However, these nanochannels show pH sensitivity only within certain pH ranges. Wide-range pH sensitivity has not yet been achieved. Herein, for the first time, we provide a versatile strategy to increase the pH-sensitive range by using dual amphoteric nanochannels. In particular, amphoteric polymeric nanochannels with carboxyl groups derived from a block copolymer (BCP) precursor and nanochannels with hydroxyl groups made from anodic alumina oxide (AAO) were used. Due to a synergistic effect, the hybrid nanochannels exhibit nanofluidic diode properties with single rectification direction over a wide pH range. The novel strategy presented here is a scalable, low-cost, and robust alternative for the construction of large-area membranes for nanofluidic applications, such as the separation of biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13056-13060
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • amphoteric nanochannels
  • block copolymers
  • ion transport
  • nanofluidic diodes
  • ph-gating

Cite this