Manish Kumar

Artificial Water Channel Membranes for Sustainable Water Purification

Biological systems are exceptionally efficient at purifying water. These efficiencies are unmatched in current synthetic systems. Our group works at the forefront of developing technologies to sustainably produce clean water using bioinspired principles. In this REU project, the selected student will work on a project focused on developing new materials for membranes utilizing design principles from nature’s best water filtration molecules, aquaporin proteins (Figure 1). Aquaporins transport water at a rate of 1-5 billion water molecules/s while completely rejecting all dissolved species (including salt and contaminants).  We discovered that a new synthetic architecture of channels, peptide-appended pillar[5]arenes, can approach the permeability of aquaporins. This summer the work will focus on synthesizing various iterations of these bioinspired channels and developing scalable water treatment membrane materials around them. The selected student will collaborate with two graduate students and a postdoc on this project.

Faculty Research Links

Contact Information

Esther Gomez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator

Manish Kumar, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
REU Program Coordinator

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