High Flux Nano-Filters
N.M. Elman, K. Daniel, F. Jalali-Yazdi, M.J. Cima
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
Keywords: nano-filtration, membranes, bionanotechnology, analyte separation, nanopores
Abstract:High porosity nano-channel membranes were designed to maximize diffusion and control of the molecular cutoffs for selective filtration of analytes of various molecular weights. The membranes are characterized by large surface area, high permeability, mechanical stability and durability. They were fabricated using a novel nano fabrication process that combines laser-based lithography and micro-machining techniques. The measured apparent permeability showed approximately two orders of magnitude improvement over commercially available polycarbonate membranes, thereby attaining one of the maximum permeability values ever reported for this scale. A critical characteristic of this membrane technology is the absolute control in the pore size values and scalability at the nano-scale dimensions. These membranes could be used for a wide variety of applications, including separation of proteins and nanoparticles, in filters for in vitro instrumentation, and biomedical devices for in vivo applications that require high-flux nano-filtration.