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Biomimetric Membrane For Water Purification Highly efficient biomimetric membrane to reduce water purification costs


esearchers at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Environmental Research Institute (NERI) have successfully developed an inexpensive biomimetric membrane for water purification.

he NUS team led by Associate Professor Tong Yen Wah is among the world’s first to have succeeded in placing aquaporin proteins onto polymer membranes that allow only

water through its channels. This new technology can potentially reduce water purification costs by up to 30%.

Aquaporins are membrane proteins that selectively conduct water molecules in and out of cells, preventing the passage of ions and other solutes. They are also known as water channels which are present in living cell membranes of bacteriae, mangrove plants and human kidneys. With the presence of aquaporin, the mangrove plant – which survives in salt water – is able to filter between 90 and 95 percent of the salt at its roots, while the human kidney is able to purify up to 150 liters of water daily. Tong explained, “The biomimetric membrane is constructed to mimic the layers of cells on the roots of mangrove trees by embedding nanosized aquaporin-vesicles onto a stable and functional ultrafiltration substrate membrane using an innovative yet

Intellectual Property Rights


he world of business is changing at a breathtaking pace. During the last two decades, the development of information technology and arrival of the Internet have created the ‘Global Village’ we all live in today. Applications of new technologies spread quickly around the world. As a result, ever more people become familiar with these new technologies through the products they use in their everyday lives. It has led to emergence of a knowledge based world economy. Thus it places a tag of urgency on understanding and

managing knowledge based assets, such as innovations and know-how. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) being the core of a knowledge-based economy is an emanate subject of interest. Intellectual property, very broadly, mean the creations of the mind. The legal rights granted for the intellectual property is most commonly referred to as IPR. The Indian MSME sector needs more information, orientation and facilities for protecting their intellectual powers. While majority of the

simple and easy-to-implement surface imprinting technology. We found that the resultant aquaporin-incorporated biomimetic membrane allows water to pass through it faster and also display lower salt leakage than a membrane without aquaporin.” The membrane’s high mechanical strength and stability during the water filtration process makes it suitable for industrial applications in water treatment and desalination processes. This also means greater supply of drinking water at much lower costs for the public. The team is also looking forward to extend the membrane’s applications to engineer a similar biomimetric membrane that can be incorporated into wearable kidney dialysis devices in the near future.

- Ankita Jain IPR Consultant countries have adopted strategies for implementing strong IPR protection for strengthening their industries and trades Indian industries, particularly the MSME are lagging behind in recognizing the importance of IPR and adopting IPR as a business strategy for enhancing competitiveness. The objective is to enhance awareness of MSME about Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) to take measure for protecting their ideas and business strategies. The understanding and effectiveness of IPR will be discussed in my article… Stay tuned!

47 • December 2015 • Plastics News

Plastic news dec 2015  
Plastic news dec 2015