Ion permeation through polymer-supported steroidal crown membranes

Seiji Shinkai, Gong Xin He, Tsutomu Matsuda, Katsuhiro Shimamoto, Naotoshi Nakashima, Osamu Manabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The trans-membrane ion transport in a biological system is mediated either by the carrier mechanism or by the channel mechanism. In the past the biomimetic studies on the carrier mechanism have widely been investigated. However, very few precedents exist for the biomimetic studies on the channel mechanism. After a long trial-and-error the authors found that the 1:1 mixture of two steroidal crown ethers provides a stable liquid crystal phase even at room temperature. In this paper they report on the ion permeation properties of the polymer-supported steroidal crown membranes composed of the two steroidal crown ethers and discuss the nature of the 'ion channel' in the composite membranes. As a reference they also prepared a polymer-supported membrane composed of one of the aforementioned ethers and cholesterol oleate, which also provides a stable liquid crystal phase at room temperature. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated for the first time that the self-organization nature of liquid-crystalline materials is useful for the arrangement of ionophoric crown ether stacks. Thus, the polymer-steroidal crown composite membrane acts as a new class of ion permeation membranes which possess a pore-type ion channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of polymer science. Part C, Polymer letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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