Nanofabrication of Isoporous Membranes for Cell Fractionation

A. Sabirova, F. Pisig Jr., N. Rayapuram, H. Hirt, S. P. Nunes
Scientific Reports, Volume 10, Article number: 6138, (2020)


Isoporous Membranes, Cell Fractionation, Separations, Filtration


​Cell fractionations and other biological separations frequently require several steps. They could be much more effectively done by filtration, if isoporous membranes would be available with high pore density, and sharp pore size distribution in the micro- and nanoscale. We propose a combination of two scalable methods, photolithography and dry reactive ion etching, to fabricate a series of polyester membranes with isopores of size 0.7 to 50 μm and high pore density with a demonstrated total area of 38.5 cm2. The membranes have pore sizes in the micro- and submicro-range, and pore density 10-fold higher than track-etched analogues, which are the only commercially available isoporous polymeric films. Permeances of 220,000 L m−2 h−1bar−1 were measured with pore size 787 nm. The method does not require organic solvents and can be applied to many homopolymeric materials. The pore reduction from 2 to 0.7 μm was obtained by adding a step of chemical vapor deposition. The isoporous system was successfully demonstrated for the organelle fractionation of Arabidopsis homogenates and could be potentially extended to other biological fractionations.




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