Antibody-Based Bio-Nanotube Membranes for Enantiomeric Drug Separations

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2198-2200
DOI: 10.1126/science.1071396

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Synthetic bio-nanotube membranes were developed and used to separate two enantiomers of a chiral drug. These membranes are based on alumina films that have cylindrical pores with monodisperse nanoscopic diameters (for example, 20 nanometers). Silica nanotubes were chemically synthesized within the pores of these films, and an antibody that selectively binds one of the enantiomers of the drug was attached to the inner walls of the silica nanotubes. These membranes selectively transport the enantiomer that specifically binds to the antibody, relative to the enantiomer that has lower affinity for the antibody. The solvent dimethyl sulfoxide was used to tune the antibody binding affinity. The enantiomeric selectivity coefficient increases as the inside diameter of the silica nanotubes decreases.

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