The future of membranes: toward the natural selection of functions
Tubular G-quartet-G4 and I-quartet-I4 systems for the conduction of cations and water molecules, respectively.
This paper describes various strategies for the development of self-assembled supramolecular channels and their dimensional extension toward up-scaled self-organized materials, summarizing recent developments in this area. After a short non-exhaustive description of the artificial supramolecular channel systems involved in water, proton and ion transport processes through bilayer membranes, these all-made artificial systems are described as a source of inspiration, by presenting several breakthroughs of the last years in the field of biomimetic supramolecular channel systems. Then their inclusion in artificial polymeric/hybrid matrixes, resulting in the formation of biomimetic artificial materials for directional translocation via channeling pathways, is described, highlighting all the efforts necessary to maintain their channel-transporting functions observed within bilayer membranes under up-scaled operating conditions.