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A Biomimetic, Self-Pumping Membrane

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Abstract

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Biological membranes accelerate materials exchange by active, ATP-dependent transport through specialized channel proteins. Similarly, the integration of “pumping” driven by chemical energy harvested from the fluid into a synthetic membrane is highly desirable from an engineering point of view. Here, a novel membrane integrating an electroosmotic micropump with a fuel cell is described. Future applications of such self-pumping membranes operating with a variety of fuels may include implantable or remotely operating autonomous devices and membrane-based purification systems.

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