Biological & Soft Matter Seminar: Exploring Nanofluidic Structures with Ion Perm-selectivity: Advancing Electrically Driven Ion Transport and Molecular Manipulation

Barak Sabbagh, TAU

17 July 2024, 11:00 
Kaplun Building, Flekser Hall 118 
Biological & Soft Matter Seminar



Our research explores the interdisciplinary fields of micro- and nanofluidics alongside electrokinetics, focusing on ion perm-selectivity as a pivotal property of nanofluidic structures. This property influences diverse disciplines, where selective transport of specific ions or molecules is crucial—for instance, in maintaining cellular balance in biological systems, or in water desalination. Noteworthy phenomena occur not only within the nanofluidic structures but also at their interfaces with fluidic microstructures. Electrically driven ion transport through ion perm-selective nanostructures induces sharp changes in ion flux density, leading to polarization of ion concentrations on both sides of the structure. 


The study investigates the fundamental mechanisms governing ion transport and molecule manipulation within nano- and microfluidic environments. Our findings highlight an effective strategy for controlling local ion concentration polarization and inducing electric field gradients. This approach establishes a precise and efficient field-gradient focusing mechanism for the preconcentration of charged biomolecules, significantly enhancing the sensitivity of medical diagnostics and separation processes. Inspired by biological systems, the research progresses towards artificial neuromorphic computing by leveraging diverse ion transport behaviors enabled by different nanofluidic structures. We demonstrate the ability to store, process, and transmit chemical and electrical signals entirely through ions within a fluidic chip, achieving functionalities akin to neuromorphic systems.

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