Transmembrane Protein-Polymer Conjugates for the Generation of Nano-Thin Membranes
Maria Mathieu1,2, Himanshu Charan1,2, Ulrich Glebe1 and Alexander Böker1,2
1Functional Protein Systems, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, Geiselbergstraße 69, 14476, Potsdam-Golm, GER
2Chair of Polymer Materials and Polymer Technologies, Universität Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24-25, 14476, Potsdam, GER
Our research addresses the formation of ultra-thin self-assembled membranes with channel proteins acting as pores in the membrane. Protein-polymer conjugates are synthesized with random copolymer chains incorporating photo-crosslinkable monomers.1 Due to the high interfacial activity of these protein-polymer conjugates, they can be assembled at air/water- and oil/water -interfaces.2 Crosslinking of the polymer chains leads to a stable thin membrane which lies planar on top of a support after evaporation of water (Figure 1). The targeted protein is the well-studied ferric hydroxamate uptake protein component A (FhuA). Using FhuA as nanochannel omits the denaturation of the protein and, moreover, has the advantage that the channel interior can be further functionalized for specific separations.3 Therefore, membranes could be developed in future not only for separation processes based on size exclusion, but also for interactions based on e.g. charge and chirality.
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