Artificial transmembrane ion transporters as potential therapeutics

Jie Yang, Guocan Yu, Jonathan L. Sessler, Injae Shin, Philip A. Gale, Feihe Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Various artificial transmembrane transporters, designed to function through mobile carrier or channel mechanisms, have been developed in the past decade. With the aid of structural manipulation and by employing either discrete chemical entities or self-assembled nanostructures, progress has been made in achieving the selective recognition and transmembrane transport of key ions. The ability to perturb intracellular pH or disrupt intracellular ion homeostasis makes transmembrane ion transporters of interest as potential therapeutics that might see use as cancer treatments or as antibacterial agents. In this review, recent progress in the area of artificial transmembrane ion transporter research is summarized with an emphasis on applications involving anticancer research and antibiotic applications. The examples chosen for highlights are meant to be illustrative of key themes involving synthetic ion transport rather than comprehensive. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that this review will provide a useful entry point for the general reader and set the stage for further progress in the area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3256-3291
Number of pages36
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 9

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Materials Chemistry


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