Engineering smart nanofluidic systems for artificial ion channels and ion pumps: from single-pore to multichannel membranes

Zhen Zhang, Xiaodong Huang, Yongchao Qian, Weipeng Chen, Liping Wen, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Biological ion channels and ion pumps with intricate ion transport functions widely exist in living organisms and play irreplaceable roles in almost all physiological functions. Nanofluidics provides exciting opportunities to mimic these working processes, which not only helps understand ion transport in biological systems but also paves the way for the applications of artificial devices in many valuable areas. Recent progress in the engineering of smart nanofluidic systems for artificial ion channels and ion pumps is summarized. The artificial systems range from chemically and structurally diverse lipid-membrane-based nanopores to robust and scalable solid-state nanopores. A generic strategy of gate location design is proposed. The single-pore-based platform concept can be rationally extended into multichannel membrane systems and shows unprecedented potential in many application areas, such as single-molecule analysis, smart mass delivery, and energy conversion. Finally, some present underpinning issues that need to be addressed are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1904351
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020


  • bioinspiration
  • ion channels
  • ion pumps
  • nanofluidics
  • smart materials

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