A review on nature-inspired gating membranes: From concept to design and applications

Hanieh Bazyar*, Othonas A. Moultos, Rob G.H. Lammertink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Nature has been a constant source of inspiration for technological developments. Recently, the study of nature-inspired materials has expanded to the micro- and nanoscale, facilitating new breakthroughs in the design of materials with unique properties. Various types of superhydrophobic surfaces inspired by the lotus/rice leaf are examples of nature-inspired surfaces with special wettability properties. A new class of functional surfaces whose design is inspired by the pitcher plant are the slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS). This Review summarizes the properties, design criteria, fabrication strategies, and working mechanisms of both surfaces with specific focus on SLIPS. The applications of SLIPS in the field of membrane technology [slippery liquid-infused membranes (SLIMs)] are also reviewed. These membranes are also known as liquid gating membranes due to the gating functionality of the capillary-stabilized liquid in the membrane pores leading to a smart gating mechanism. Similar to the gating ion channels in biological systems, the pores open and close in response to the ambient stimuli, e.g., pressure, temperature, and ions. Different types of stimuli-responsive smart gating membranes are introduced here, and their properties and applications are reviewed in detail. Finally, challenges and perspectives on both SLIPS and smart gating membranes are discussed. This Review provides a thorough discussion and practical applications of nature-inspired functional surfaces and membranes to pave the way for future research and further developments in this emerging field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144704
JournalThe Journal of chemical physics
Issue number14
Early online date13 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022


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