UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Bio-inspired membranes for water desalination, purification and bio-separations

Computational studies of water and ion transport through protein channels in cell membranes teach us the fundamental principles behind the combination of remarkably high permeation, selectivity and anti-fouling properties of these biological membranes. For instance, using inspiration from various biological systems such as the cell membrane and the glomerular membrane present in the kidney, we can help improve the anti-fouling properties of membranes. We aim to build artificial nanoporous membranes that implement the fundamental principles that lead to the superior performance of biological membranes.


Current Researchers: Halan Mohamed and Yanan Liu

Past researchers: Jerome Meng, Jianan Li, Niall Kent and Silo Meoto

Collaborators: Luiza Campos, Mohammed Alsubei, UCL Department of Civil Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Key Publications

  1. Z. Meng, S. Casanova, H. Mohamed, N. Kapil, X. Xiao, Y. Zhang, M.-O. Coppens, D. Mattia, 2020, Polymer nanotube membranes synthesized via liquid deposition in anodic alumina, Colloid and Interface Sci. Commun., 39, 100334. DOI: 10.1016/j.colcom.2020.100334 [Link]
  2. J. Li, Y. Liu, L.C. Campos, M.-O. Coppens, 2020, Increased E. coli bio-adsorption resistance of microfiltration membranes, using a bio-inspired approach, Science of the Total Environment., 751, 141777. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141777 [Link]
  3. H. Mohamed, S. Hudziak, V. Arumuganathan, Z. Meng, M.-O. Coppens, 2020, Effects of charge and hydrophilicity on the anti-fouling properties of kidney-inspired, polyester membranes., Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 2020, 5, 1219-1229. DOI: 10.1039/D0ME00045K [Link] (SI on Nature-Inspired Solutions for Engineering)
  4. S. Meoto, N. Kent, MM. Nigra and M.-O Coppens, 2017, Mesostructure of mesoporous silica/anodic alumina hierarchical membranes tuned with ethanol, Langmuir, 33(19), 4823. [Link]
  5. S. Meoto, N. Kent, MM. Nigra and M.-O Coppens, 2017, Effect of stirring rate on the morphology of FDU-12 mesoporous silica particles, Microporous and Mesoporous Mater., 249, 61-66. [Link]
  6. S. Meoto and M.-O Coppens, 2014, Anodic alumina-templated synthesis of mesostructured silica membranes - current status and challenges, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2(16), 5640. [Link]
  7. V.J. van Hijkoop, A.J. Dammers, K. Malek and M.-O. Coppens, 2007, Water diffusion through a membrane protein channel: a first passage time approach",
J. Chem. Phys., 2007, 127(8), 085101. [Link]
  8. X. Liu, D. Newsome, and M.-O. Coppens, "Dynamic Monte Carlo simulations of binary self-diffusion in ZSM-5", Microp. Mesop. Mater., 2009, 125, 149. [Link]