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Nuclear Nanofilters


Chemically Modified Nuclear Nano- and Ultrafilters: Structure and Selective Properties

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Komarkov D A

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Crystallography, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk\nInstitute of Highly Pure Biopreparations, Russia, St Petersburg


  • University of Detroit Mercy, USA, MI, Detroit

Project summary

Membranes and membrane technologies are classed in Russia as so-called "critical technologies" of the federal level. In the Soviet Union research on nuclear filters (track membranes) was initiated by Academician G.N.Flerov. At present, Russia holds the world priority in the field of nuclear filter research and the development and production of such filters. Nuclear filters are produced by nuclear-physical treatment and subsequent chemical etching of polymer films. Unlike conventional membranes they have a regular porous structure with pores of approximately the same diameter. Microfiltration nuclear filters are widely used for water purification in microelectronics, environment monitoring, in the production of medico-biological preparations (such as vaccines), in plasmaferesis to separate blood plasma, etc.

Ultra- and nano-filtration along with microfiltration are the basic membrane processes. However, further development of nano- and ultra-filtration membrane technologies is restrained by the lack of membranes with required performance characteristics, which are determined by their physic-chemical properties (hydrophily, hydrophoby, surface charge, adsorptivity, etc.). As shown by the studies conducted by our research team, nuclear nano- and ultra-filters with controlled physic-chemical properties are highly promising for separation, purification and concentration of viruses, proteins, nucleic and amino acids. Moreover, in its efficiency ultrafiltration using nuclear filters characterized by small pore dispersion can compete with the chromatographic process.

In the course of project implementation efforts will be made to develop scientific principles and a technology for production of nano- and ultra-filters with controlled physic-chemical properties based on polymer and composite materials and to devise processes and technologies for separation of biologically active substances based on these filters.

To achieve the goals of the project it is planned to utilize rich experience of a large group of researchers, engineers and technologists - specialists in the field of nuclear physics, microbiology, biochemistry and technologists who formerly worked in weapons development and production. Joint realization of the project together with foreign scientists will enable Russian participants in the project to integrate themselves in the international community of scientists working in the field of membranes and membrane technologies and will open up prospects of a long career for them in the civilian sector of membrane research. This will also allow the unique equipment to be used for obtaining scientific knowledge meeting the civilian needs.

The role of the collaborators in the project will be to study the structure of modified track membranes and obtain an insight into the mechanism of selective diffusive and convective transport of proteins and viruses and gelatination of high-molecular compounds. These studies will contribute to wider commercial use of track membranes.


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