Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSMSE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Chemical and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Bruce J. Hinds


CNT membrane platforms are biomimetic polymeric membranes imbedded with carbon nanotubes which show fast fluid flow, electric conductivity, and the ability to be grafted with chemistry. A novel micro-dialysis probe nicotine concentration sampling technique was proposed and proved in vitro, which could greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of future animal transdermal studies. To enhance the scope of transdermal drug delivery which was limited to passive diffusion of small, potent lipophilic drugs, a wire mesh lateral electroporation design was also proposed which could periodically disrupt the skin barrier and enhance drug flux.

It was shown that AMP binding aptamer at the tip of carbon nanotubes may act as gatekeepers and regulate ionic transport through CNT membrane. Multiple cycle gating of ionic transport upon AMP binding/unbinding which changes the aptamer conformation was displayed. This CNT membrane-aptamer system closely mimics how protein ion channels modulate ion flow by responding to stimuli, which may have significant impact on active membrane transport.

Finally an enhanced electroosmosis concept by “ratchet” functionalization at both ends of carbon nanotubes in was discussed. Direct observation of water transport by electroosmosis was made possible through enhanced flow in vertically aligned high flux CNT membranes.