Membrane engineering in biotechnology: quo vamus?
Membranes are essential to a range of applications, including the production of potable water, energy generation, tissue repair, pharmaceutical production, food packaging, and the separations needed for the manufacture of chemicals, electronics and a range of other products. Therefore, they are considered to be ‘dominant technologies’ by governments and industry in several prominent countries – for example, USA, Japan and China. When combined with catalysts, membranes are at the basis of life, and membrane-based biomimetism is a key tool to obtain better quality products and environmentally friendly developments for our societies. Biology has a main part in this global landscape because it simultaneously provides the ‘model’ (with natural biological membranes) and represents a considerable field of applications for new artificial membranes (biotreatments, bioconversions and artificial organs). In this article, our objective is to open up this enthralling area and to give our views about the future of membranes in biotechnology.
Journal: - Volume 25, Issue 6, June 2007, Pages 242–246