Self-Assembled Membranes with Featherlike and Lamellar Morphologies Containing α-Helical Polypeptides

Burhannudin Sutisna, Panagiotis Bilalis, Valentina-Elena Musteata, Detlef-M. Smilgies, Klaus-Viktor Peinemann, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Suzana Pereira Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Biological systems are the ultimate model for an effective selective permeation device. Biomimetic artificial channels based on the assembly of peptides have been previously integrated in vesicles and lipid layers with the expectation of leading in the future to a more efficient water purification and biological separation. We demonstrate here the design of scalable membranes constituted by synthesized copolymers with α-helical polypeptide blocks. They have unique featherlike and lamellar structures and were obtained from poly(styrene-b-γ-benzyl-l-glutamate) copolymers via phase inversion or spin-coating. The membranes were then hydrolyzed using acid vapor annealing, which preserved the helical morphology after hydrolysis. Water permeation up to 3.5 L m–2 h–1 bar–1 was obtained. Dialysis experiments with membranes prepared via phase inversion had high retention of cytochrome c. High rejection of cytochrome c and the negatively charged dye Brilliant Blue was demonstrated for the spin-coated membranes. The bioinspired membranes are developed for effective molecular separation, aiming at applications in the biotech industry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8174-8187
Number of pages14
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 8 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1972-24-01
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the funding by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (base lines and Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Grant FCC/1/1972-24-01). The authors thank Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron (LNLS) in Brazil for the access to the SAXS and XRD synchrotron facilities, as well as Florian Meneau and Tiago Araujo Kakile at LNLS for their support at the SAXS1 beamline, and Alexandre Magnus Gomes Carvalho for the assistance at the XRD1 beamline. We acknowledge Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) in USA for the access to the GISAXS facility, and we thank Stefan Chisca for the assistance in the GISAXS measurements. CHESS is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences under NSF Award DMR-1332208. We thank Long Chen for the support in the AFM measurements at the KAUST Core Laboratories and Dinesh Mahalingam for the assistance in the polarized optical microscopy.


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