The gramicidin A transmembrane channel is believed to consist of two head-to-head beta helices. Computer-generated models were used to formulate the structure of new single-chain channel molecules based on the gramicidin motif. The chemical synthesis of two tartaric acid-gramicidin A hybrids and single-channel analyses of their conducting properties are reported. These studies illustrate the rational design and synthesis of long-lived channels with tunable conductance properties and provide support for current molecular models of the natural (dimeric) gramicidin channel.