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Scientists create filter that allows large particles through, but not small ones

BY RAIN NOE From Core77

Imagine if this was stretched over a toilet

Imagine, in place of a screen door, a thin membrane that would keep mosquitoes out–but would allow human beings to pass through it. Imagine a membrane stretched across your toilet that would allow poop to drop through it, but would prevent gaseous odor from traveling upwards. To create either of these things you’d need a filter that allows large things to pass through it while blocking out smaller ones. That is impossible to achieve by solid, mechanical means–but not impossible if one were to use a self-healing, liquid-based membrane.

That’s precisely what a team of researchers at Penn State have accomplished. While the screen door example above is still impossible, the toilet thing is actually within reach, because they have developed a membrane that does what you see in a video at web link below.

Thus far the potential applications they’re listing are:

– Insect and particle barrier
– Self-cleaning, nonfouling membrane for continuous particle separation
– Surgical film
– Gas/odor barrier

Readers: Any ideas for additional applications?

For more on this story and video go to:


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