Membrane materials offer many practical advantages for purification and separation applications. Nature Materials presents a Focus which highlights the most promising new membrane materials that offer competitive performance capabilities, and discusses how to transfer such materials and processes to industry.
Of knowledge and beauty p185 doi:10.1038/nnano.2017.41 In 1772, Robert Boyle wrote: "So much admirable workmanship, as God hath displayed in the Universe, was never meant for eyes that willfully close themselves." It is scientists' duty to make a convincing effort to ensure that this admirable workmanship is there for all to see.
DNA origami tiles: Nanoscale mazes pp189 - 190 Fei Zhang, Fan Hong and Hao Yan doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.263 The programmable disorder often seen in biological networks has now been demonstrated with DNA origami tiles using a stochastic algorithm.
Nanomedicine: Catching tumour cells in the zone pp191 - 193 Susan E. Leggett and Ian Y. Wong doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.264 A microfluidic chip with progressively stronger magnetic field gradients along its length can sort and classify circulating tumour cells based on the expression of cell surface markers.
Tuning membrane protein mobility by confinement into nanodomains pp260 - 266 Andreas Karner, Benedikt Nimmervoll, Birgit Plochberger, Enrico Klotzsch, Andreas Horner et al. doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.236 Streptavidin crystals grown on mica-supported lipid bilayers can be used as a platform to tune the lateral mobility of transmembrane proteins, allowing the conformation or docking of spatially confined proteins to be imaged with high-speed atomic force microscopy.
Observation of extreme phase transition temperatures of water confined inside isolated carbon nanotubes pp267 - 273 Kumar Varoon Agrawal, Steven Shimizu, Lee W. Drahushuk, Daniel Kilcoyne and Michael S. Strano doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.254 A vibrational spectroscopy technique is used to study vapour, liquid and solid water within isolated carbon nanotubes and reveals phase transitions that show an extreme sensitivity to nanotube diameter, with melting temperatures higher than 100 °C for 1.05 and 1.06 nm diameter nanotubes and below 0 °C for 1.24 and 1.44 nm diameter nanotubes.
Programming random mazes p284 Philip Petersen doi:10.1038/nnano.2017.30 When an important concept puts a scientific paper under the spotlight, behind the scenes there is usually a long story of mystery solving, as Philip Petersen explains.
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