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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2012 May 29;51(22):5296-307. doi: 10.1002/anie.201104904. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

Building bio-inspired artificial functional nanochannels: from symmetric to asymmetric modification.

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National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, China.


Over millions of years, complex processes of intelligent control have evolved in nature. Learning from nature is a continuing theme in the development of smart materials and intelligent systems. For example, biological nanochannels, which are typically ion channels, play a very important role in basic biochemical processes in cells. Inspired by ion channels, in which the components are asymmetrically distributed between the membrane surfaces, the generation of biomimetic smart nanochannels is a broad and varied scientific research field. The design and development of new biomimetic channels includes the use of different shapes of channels, different stimuli-responsive molecules, and different symmetric/asymmetric modification methods. In this Minireview, we summarize recent developments in building functional nanochannels by applying various symmetric and asymmetric modifications.

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