PubMed 23713693

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir2.3

Title: Asymmetric Ion Transport through Ion-Channel-Mimetic Solid-State Nanopores.

Authors: Wei Guo, Ye Tian, Lei Jiang

Journal, date & volume: Acc. Chem. Res., 2013 May 28 , ,

PubMed link:

Both scientists and engineers are interested in the design and fabrication of synthetic nanofluidic architectures that mimic the gating functions of biological ion channels. The effort to build such structures requires interdisciplinary efforts at the intersection of chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology. Biological ion channels and synthetic nanofluidic devices have some structural and chemical similarities, and therefore, they share some common features in regulating the traverse ionic flow. In the past decade, researchers have identified two asymmetric ion transport phenomena in synthetic nanofluidic structures, the rectified ionic current and the net diffusion current. The rectified ionic current is a diode-like current-voltage response that occurs when switching the voltage bias. This phenomenon indicates a preferential direction of transport in the nanofluidic system. The net diffusion current occurs as a direct product of charge selectivity and is generated from the asymmetric diffusion through charged nanofluidic channels. These new ion transport phenomena and the elaborate structures that occur in biology have inspired us to build functional nanofluidic devices for both fundamental research and practical applications. In this Account, we review our recent progress in the design and fabrication of biomimetic solid-state nanofluidic devices with asymmetric ion transport behavior. We demonstrate the origin of the rectified ionic current and the net diffusion current. We also identify several influential factors and discuss how to build these asymmetric features into nanofluidic systems by controlling (1) nanopore geometry, (2) surface charge distribution, (3) chemical composition, (4) channel wall wettability, (5) environmental pH, (6) electrolyte concentration gradient, and (7) ion mobility. In the case of the first four features, we build these asymmetric features directly into the nanofluidic structures. With the final three, we construct different environmental conditions in the electrolyte solutions on either side of the nanochannel. The novel and well-controlled nanofluidic phenomena have become the foundation for many promising applications, and we have highlighted several representative examples. Inspired by the electrogenic cell of the electric eel, we have demonstrated a proof-of-concept nanofluidic reverse electrodialysis system (NREDS) that converts salinity gradient energy into electricity by means of net diffusion current. We have also constructed chirality analysis systems into nanofluidic architectures and monitored these sensing events as the change in the degree of ionic current rectification. Moreover, we have developed a biohybrid nanosystem, in which we reconstituted the F0F1-ATPase on a liposome-coated, solid-state nanoporous membrane. By applying a transmembrane proton concentration gradient, the biohybrid nanodevice can synthesize ATP in vitro. These findings have improved our understanding of the asymmetric ion transport phenomena in synthetic nanofluidic systems and offer innovative insights into the design of functional nanofluidic devices.