Aston University has become a world-leader in membrane research, helping to develop new ways of purifying water and aiding the discovery of new drugs, thanks to a £10 million reward from Research England.

The grant has been used to establish the Aston Institute for Membrane Excellence (AIME), a globally unique, cross-disciplinary institute to develop novel biomimetic membranes.

Membranes, both biological and synthetic, are hugely important in many sectors. For example, the world’s top ten selling human medicines all target proteins in biological membranes, while synthetic polymer membranes are used in the US$100 billion a year water purification industry.

The team behind AIME believes that the full potential of membranes will only be realised by an interdisciplinary group spanning biology, physics and chemistry that can investigate membranes holistically.

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