7_01i/2011Nanofiltration: Building-Block-Based Mosaic Cage Silica Nanotubes for Molecular Transport and Separation (Small 1/2011)

The cover picture shows extremely robust and mosaic nanofilter membranes that are based on densely engineered mesocage structures inside silica nanotubes. The multifunctional surface coating of the pore channels of the anodic alumina membrane (AAM) facilitates the production of nanofilters without the existence of air gaps, or “detachment pores,” between the fabricated nanotubes inside the AAM. The tubular-structured architectures are vertically aligned and stable, and they have open end surfaces and multidirectional pore connectivity; consequently, they are promising for the efficient separation of macromolecules (such as proteins) with various sizes at a wide range of concentrations and for a rapid filtration process (in seconds). In principle, the design requires controlled assessment processes, e.g., shelf-life or long-term stability, separation efficiency, and reusability; these are key for the optimal fabrication method for nanofilters that enable filtration and molecular transport of multiple species. For more information, please read the Communication “Building-Block-Based Mosaic Cage Silica Nanotubes for Molecular Transport and Separation” by S. A. El-Safty and co-workers, beginning on page 62.

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