Welcome to the NSA web page PDF Print

NSA group is a part of the:

  • Marie Curie Initial Training Network PROTONÂcheck here
  • INTELWATTÂEuropean Union’s Horizon 2020ÂÂÂÂÂcheck here
  • ERANET-M-SmartMatter ProjectÂÂÂÂÂÂÂCcheck here

  • ERANET-M COFFEE ProjectÂ. ÂÂÂÂÂcheck here


The NSA group is developing an_interdisciplinary research project in chemistry, biology & physics, using a supramolecular chemistry-biomimetic materials-membrane platform. The methodology consists in a_new global approach,ÂincludingÂmultidisciplinary knots of synergetic concepts in molecular conception, supramolecular transcription an d material chemistry which can be implemented simultaneously in order to converge to polyfunctional adaptive membranes. This natural follow-up project might provide new insights into the basic features that control the design of new materials and membranes with applications in chemical separations, sensors or as storage/delivery devices. Strong activities are developping around water and ion channels toward highly selective membranes for desalination or Dynamic constitutional frameworks for environmental and health applications.

Latest News:

June 2023: Important progress in Water Desalination, Montpellier


Dessaler l’eau de mer, est-ce une bonne ou une mauvaise idée face à la sécheresse ?

Le projet WATERLAND vise à développer un procédé de fabrication de membranes biomimétiques destinées au dessalement d’eau de mer.
Un projet ambitieux qui vise à réduire les coûts énergétiques inhérent à cette technologie.

June 2023: 2nde Journees Chimie Supramoléculaire, Montpellier

NSA Group members meet Prof. Jean-Marie LEHN: everyone is proud of this unforgetable moment


Mihai Barboiu among the spekears : Plenary lecture on Artifical Water Channels 


Mars 2023: Excellent review paper by Dan-Dan SU in CCS Chemistry 

Artificial Water Channels—Progress Innovations and Prospects


November 2021: Congratulations to Libo Huang and Dmytro Strilets for theire succesful PhD defenses.

Nice contributions on Artificial Water Channels with papers on prestigious journals 3 JACS, 2 Angew,

Chem Eur J, Chempluschem

Thanks to the commitee : Prof S. Vincent, Prof. N. Giuseppone, Prof. N. Avarvari, Prof. A. Pasc,

Prof S. Ulrich, Prof. S. Cerneaux


November 2021: Nice Review paper and COVER in Chempluschem 11/2021 Congratulation Dandan.

Nice cooperation with our former post-doc Yan Zhang - Jiangnan University.


Paper:ÂConstitutional Dynamic Inhibition/Activation of Carbonic Anhydrases (


November 2021: Notre travail est a l'honneur dans Science et Vie 

Le projet Waterland vise à développer unÂprocédé de fabrication de membranes biomimétiques destinées au dessalement d'eau de mer.
Un projet ambitieux qui vise à réduire les coûts énergétiques inhérent à cette technologie.


October 2021: 9e Journées Meditéranéennes des Jeunes Chercheurs 

Dandan presented her work on enzyme activation. Well done!ÂÂÂÂÂÂ


October 2021:Inauguration de l’installation du projet Waterland :Dessalement de l’eau de mer au sein de l’ENSCM, site Galéra.

Le projet WATERLAND vise à développer un procédé de fabrication de membranes biomimétiques destinées au dessalement d’eau de mer.
Un projet ambitieux qui vise à réduire les coûts énergétiques inhérent à cette technologie.


September 2021: A happy marriage between molcular motors and transmembrane ion channels 

Congratulations Libo Huang for his 3rd publication in JACS in 2021!

Light-Driven Molecular Motors Boost the Selective Transport of Alkali Metal Ions through Phospholipid Bilayers | Journal of the American Chemical Society (


September 2021: New paper in Proceeding of National Academy of Sciences

Congratulations Maria de Vincenzo and our collaborators in Italy and Saudi Arabia

Tunable membranes incorporating artificial water channels for high-performance brackish/low-salinity water reverse osmosis desalination | PNAS


September 2021: Congratulations Libo Huang

LiboHuang Journal Logo

Investigation on structural determinants that control the water transport performances through the bilayer membranes expanding their development toward industrially relevant biomimetic membrane for desalination has been published in J. Am. Chem. Soc.-in collaboration withProf. Guillaume Maurin, ICG Montpellier


Check here

September 2021:

Dynamic constitutional frameworks expressed in the presence

of bacteria promote antibacterial and antibiofilm activities.

see our recent paper in Angew. Chemie in collaboration

withÂProf. Stephane Vincent, Universite de Namur

Check here


June 2021: Environnement : La désalinisation de l’eau est-elle la solution miracle face aux pénuries ?

Check here

June 2021- NSA group contribute the Balard Chemistry Conferences 2021

Oral Presentations

Sanaa Daakour : Dynamer-liposome dynamic system for drug delivery

Dmytro Strilets:ÂSynergetic self-assembly of alkylureido systems into artificial water channels

Best Poster Prize -Environmental sciences

Dandan SUÂPolyamine Dynamic Frameworks as Activators of Carbonic Anhydrases

Check here the poster

Congratulation to our excellent students!!!!



April 2021:The NSA team is glad to welcome Dinesh Mahalingam post doc INTELWATT. Happy to have you with us!


3 April 2021: Artifical Water Channels-toward cost effective desalination. Our research was highlited in :

Journal du CNRS:

Liberation national newspaper :


1 March 2021: HO HO HO .....Just accepted in JACS and Cover Picture -

Congratulation Libo for the nice paper and work!

An important milestone for systematic discovery of artificial water channels for desalination

Hydroxy Channels–Adaptive Pathways for Selective Water Cluster Permeation


17 February 2021: wonderful group meeting today. Welcome to the new NSA members.



February 2021:The NSA team is glad to welcome Maxime Leclere (PhD, INTREPRIDUS), Kelvinraj Nursiah (PhD, INTELWATT) and Romain Dupuis (Post-doc LabexMUSE, collab with Prof. Guillaume MAURIN, ICGM)

Happy to have you with us at IEM, Maxime, Kelvinraj and Romain.


January 2021- 

New highlighting article on Biomimetic AWC membranes in Industrie Pharma N°133 Janvier 2021.Retrouvez dans un livret toutes les actualités 2020proposées par les laboratoires à la communication l’Institut de chimie du CNRS:

17 December2020-Excellent NSA group meeting today! Happy holliday!


15 December2020-Congratulations Dr.Maria Di Vincenzo for the PhD defense today.


December 2020-


Résoudre les problèmes d’eau potable : une approche biomimétique

Lire les Actualités INC CNRS here


Désalinisation de l'eau de mer : la recherche avance à grands pas

Nous nous sommes inspirés des aquaporines pour créer cette membrane, expliqueÂMihail Barboiu, chimiste, directeur de recherche au........check the rest of the story here.


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La membrane biomimétique qui révolutionne la filtration de l'eau
Les Échos :Mihail Barboiu, spécialiste des matériaux biomimétiques, directeur de recherche au CNRS et membre de l'Institut européen des membranes de....Âcheck here

November 2020-Behind the paper NATURE RESEARCHÂÂÂÂÂcheck here

Biomimetic Artifical water channels for enhanced desalination

CNRSPRESSrelease check here




Scienmag check here

November 2020- Biomimetic Artifical water channels for enhanced desalination

Read our recent paper published in Nature Nanotechnology- PhD Maria Di Vincenzo

Inspired by biological proteins, artificial water channels (AWCs) can be used

toÂovercome the performances of traditional desalination membranes. check here


November 2020- Read our recent review published in Chemistry an European Journal

- a new milestone snapshout on Artificial water channels PhD Libo HuangÂÂÂcheck here


October 2020:The NSA team is glad to welcome Iuliana-Marilena ANDREI as Early Stage Researcher within Marie Curie ITN PROTON Network.Happy to have you with us at IEM, Iuliana


October 2020- J Mat Chem B RSC cover picture-ÂPhD Student Dandan SU

Cationic Dynamic covalent polymers for gene transfection. Excellent collaborative project with Dr. Sebastien Ulrich -ÂÂÂcheck here


September 2020:The NSA team is glad to welcome Omar Samhari for his Eng Stage within IDEA Project.Happy to have you with us at IEM, Omar.


September 2020- Selective Artifical Water Channels based on Pillar[5]arene dimers

of variable pore dimensionsÂthat offer size restriction reminiscent of natural proteins

see our recent paper in collaboration with Prof Tomoki Oghosi and Prof. Marc Baaden groups

publishedinAngewandte ChemistryÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ-- check here


September 2020- Read our recent review published in Angewandte Chemistry Â check here


August2020- Read our recent review published in Angewandte Chemistry check here


March 2020- Cover of ChemPlusChem : Adaptive folding od Amines and aminoacids in Calix[4]hosts

collaborative project with LIFM (Liya Dai), University Sun Yat Sen, Guangzhou, China check here


February 2020:The NSA team is glad to welcomeÂSanaa Daakour for her PhD degree on Dynamic Constitutional Frameworks for delivery devices,Âfor a period of 2020-2023 cotutelle with our former pHD Professor Gihane NASR, Universite Libanaise Beirut, Liban.Happy to have you with us at IEM, Sanaa.


March 2020- Dynamic constitutional Hydrogels: collaborative project with Dr. Suming Li at IEM -PhD Rui Yu


check here

check here


March 2020- Supramolecular networks via Halogen bonding-collaborative project with Prof. Ion Grosu, University Babes Bolyai Cluj Napoca, Romania check here


January 2020- Dynamic Constitutional Frameworks for enzyme activation and biomedical applications-collaborative project with Yan Zhang - former NSA post-doc-now professor at Jiangnan University, Wuxi, ChinaÂ


October 2019- Japan Conference tour:_

24/10/2019 Fujita Group Seminar, University of Tokyo, Prof. Makoto Fujita

15/10/2019 GTR-IGER-VBL Seminar, University of Nagoya, Prof. Eiji Yashima_check here

10/10/2019 : Supramolecular Chemistry Seminar, Kyoto University, Prof. Tomoki Ogoshi_check here

07/10/2019 NanoLSI Open Seminar, Kanazawa University, Prof. Katsuhiro Maeda_check here

04/10/2019 GTR-IGER-VBL Seminar, University of Nagoya, Prof. Eiji Yashima_check here


September 2019:_Congratulations to Dmytro STRILETS_who won the European Membrane Society Travel Award at Imagine Membranes 2019,Azores 21-27/09/2019 Horta, Portugal .check here


September 2019:The NSA team is glad to welcome_Dandan Su_from Jiangnan University

for her PhD degree on Dynamic Constitutional Frameworks,granted by Chiana Scholarship Council for a period of 2019-2023. Happy to have you with us at IEM, Dandan.


September 2019:_Our Mini Review Article_Artificial GramicidinsÂhas been accepted in Frontiers in Chemistry, Supramolecular Chemistry.

Nice collaboration with our ex post-doc reseracher Dr. Zhanhu Sun._check the paper here


August 2019:ÂArtificial Water Channels for Water Purification & Desalination at 258th

Fall 2019 ACS meeting, Division of Environmental Chemistry in San Diego, August 25-29th, 2019. 29/08/2019, San Diego Convention Center.

Keynote Lecture by Mihai Barboiu, Oral presentation by Maria Di Vincenzo and Libo Huang

July 2019:_Our paper Self-Assembled Columnar Triazole-Quartets - an example of synergetic H-bonding / Anion-π_Channels_is Cover paper in Agewandte Chemistry: check the paper here


Mai 2019:_lnvited conference - Prof. Bing Gong , University at Buffalo, NY USA_check here


May 2019:Keynote Lecture on Artificial water Channels by Mihai Barboiu at North American MembraneSociety Meeting 2019 (NAMS2019) 12-15 April 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, USA .check here

April 2019:Keynote Lecture on Artificial water Channels by Mihai Barboiu at Engennering with

Membranes 2019 (EWM2019) , 8-10 April 2019, Bastad, Sweden .check here

Mars. 2019:The NSA team is glad to welcome_Luigi SEQUI_from Politecnico di Torino, Italia -

colaboration with Prof. Alberto Tiraferri, for his master degree research stage on nanofiltration membranes.

Mars. 2019:The NSA team is glad to welcome Iuliana ANDREI, Cristina ION and Cristina JEGU

from University Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iasi, Romania for their master degree research stages on water and ion channels.

Mars 2019:Artificial Water Channels may be most innovative new idea for water purification membranes ans aqueous separations. Faraday Discussion Highliting paper

has been now published in Chemical Communicationsonline.


Mars 2019:Extending NSA collaborations. lnvited conference and fruitfull collaboration projects with Prof. Yan Zhang,our fantastic post-doctoral associate 2014-2017 and Prof. Jing Hua Chen at School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Jiangnan University, WUXI, China:check here

February 2019:Invited Lecture on Artificial water Channels by Mihai Barboiu at SUPRACHEM 2019

(National german meeting on Supramolecular Chemistry), 24-26 February 2019, Univitersity of Wurtzburg, Germany.check here

February 2019:Invited Lecture on Artificial water Channels by Mihai Barboiu at Instituto per la Technoligia delle Membrane,Rende Italy 15 February 2019. Togheter with Maria di Vincenzo we meet a lot of friends and establish nice collaborations. Farewell!

February 2019: Congratulations to Maria Di Vincenzo who won the 1st Prize Nature Nanotechnology Poster Awardat Dead Sea Water Workshop, 4-7 February 2019, Ein Gedi, Israel.check here

Dec. 2018:Congratulations to Istvan Kocsis, who won the Doctoral School ED Balard PhD Thesis prize 2018.

Dec. 2018: The NSA team is glad to welcome Mr Dmytro STRILETS from Ukraine for a 3-years doctoral research stay on artificial water channels.


Nov. 2018: The NSA team is glad to welcome Mr Libo HUANG from the Lehn Institute for Advanced Materials,

Sun Yat-Sen University Guangzhou (China) who will stay for a two-years doctoral stay on artificial water channels.

October 2018: Our recent review, Encapsulation versus Self-Aggregation toward Highly Selective Artificial K+ Channels,is now available on the Accounts of Chemical Research website - check here


September 2018:Calix[4]-box” cages promote the formation of amide bonds in water in the absence of coupling reagents.

Collaborative research from Adaptive Supramolecular Nanosystems, Institut European des Membranes, Montpellier, Franceand Lehn Institute of Functional Materialshas now published online.


September 2018: Artificial Water Channels may be most innovative new idea for water purification membranesand aqueous separations.Faraday Discussions Artificial Water Channels volume has now been published online.


August 2018: Our open acces review on Artificial Water Channels has been published on

Nature npj clean water - Check Here


August 2018: Des membranes artificielles bio-inspirées pour filtrer l'eau:


March 2018: Mihai BARBOIU represents the NSA team, and IEM, at the Spring ACS meeting in

New Orleans (LA-USA), while talking about Artificial Water channels, Pyrene-boxes and Rubbery Organic Frameworks.

Jan. 2018: M. Barboiu was invited by the General Consulate of France in Guangzhou, China, for a "Café des Sciences on "The world of bio-inspired materials"


Jan. 2018: The NSA team is glad to welcome back Fabrice Ndiapa from the University of Ngaoundéré for a 5-months doctoral exchange with Sophie Cerneaux.


Nov. 2017: The NSA team is glad to welcome Mr Fumihiko MAMIYA from Prof. Eiji Yashima's Group in Nagoya University

for a 3-month PhD intership and Miss Shaoping ZHENG from the Lehn Institute for Advanced Materials, Sun Yat-Sen University Guangzhou (China) who will stay for a two-years doctoral stay.

Oct. 2017: Congratulation to Istvan Kocsis who graduated as a Doctor in Chemistry from the University of Montpellier (France).

His thesis is entitled: "Supramolecular artificial water channels: from molecular design to membrane materials"

Oct. 2017: The NSA team is glad to welcome Jessy PEDROSO from the University of La Havana (Cuba) /

Finlay for a 2-month PhD intership. Jessy is cosupervised by Prof. V Verez Bencomo (Finlay) & Dr. YM Legrand (IEM) .

Sept. 2017: The NSA team is glad to welcome back Miss Maria Di Vincenzo, (M2 in Politecnico di Torino, Italy), for a 3-years doctoral research stay on water desalination.


Aug 2017: Mihai has been co-chairing a session on "Biomimetic and Bioinspired Membranes " at the ICOM2017 conference in San Francisco

and also held a lecture on "Artificial water channels". YM Legrand and I. Kocsis also gave a presentation on artificial ion channels and water channels respectively.


June 2017: Congratulations to M. Di Vincenzo who strongly contributed to the latest studies on

"Boron rejection in RO processes using novel TFC membranes" just published in JMS (J. Membr. Sci., 2017;540:71-77)


April 2017: Mihai has been co-chairing one of the session "Membranes for water treatment and Desalination"

at the Engineering With Membranes meeting (ewm2017) held in Singapore. He was also invited to present a keynote lecture on Artificial water channels.


April 2017: Highly Selective Biomimetic Ion/Water Channels were brought to light at the latest

MRS Spring Meeting in Phoenix, AZ thanks to an invited lecture given by Mihai. The topic has been highlighted on MRS Meeting Scene.

April 2017: The pursuit of happiness: the molecules responsible for the emotions of reward and happiness have been entrapped within crystalline nano-cages. Serotonin, dopamine and histamine, which are normally

difficult to crystallize, have been easily captured in water within pyrene-box cages made of pyrenetetrasulfonateanions and guanidinium cations. For more details, read the article by Weixu Feng et al. published in Chem. Eur. J. 2017.The article was selected by the editor of Chem. Eur. J. to appear as a "Frontpiece".



March 2017: Mihai D. BARBOIU has received a prize from the Case Western Reserve

University in Cleveland for outstanding advances in the field of ion and water channels.

The award was handed by porf. D. Mateescu.



March 2017: Congratulation to Wei-Xu FENG who strongly contributed to the latest studies on K+ responsive channels (Org. Lett. 2017) and on crystal engineering using molecular cages (Chem. Eur. J. 2017 and EurJOC 2017). Wei-Xu is now back to China in Prof. C.Y. Su group at Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou) for other exciting research adventures.

Feb. 2017: Within the framework of the DYNANO ITN and the collaboration with the teams of Prof. J.M. Lehn and Prof. N. Giuseppone,it has been shown that artificial membrane-spanning channels can be constructedbased on supramolecular triarylamine scaffolds.This study has been published in J.Am.Chem.Soc.


Jan. 2017: It was a great pleasure to hear that the RSC Faraday division has accepted a new topic for the 2018 Faraday Discussions namely: Artificial Water Channels.This shows the recognised relevance of this fast growing field. More...

Dec. 2016: Mihai D. BARBOIU has received The Order of Faithful Service (Romanian: Ordinul Național "Serviciul Credincios")for "the high appreciation and recognition for the excellence he has shown throughout their career in scientific researchand taken significant contribution to promoting the image of the country in world" from the

Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, on December 1st 2016.



Nov. 2016: Our collaboration with corean Partner Prof. Jae-Min OH from the Yonsei University

in Wonju yielded a nice study published in Beilstein J. of Nanotechnology (2016, 7, 1928-1935)


Nov. 2016: The IAS symposium which dealt with Chemistry of Complex Matter and

was held in Hong-Kong, gathered several prestigious speakers including Prof. J-M Lehn (Nobel Prize).

Sept. 2016: Mihai D. BARBOIU has been invited at the:

  • Advanced Membrane Technology VII, An ECI Conference Series, September 11-16, 2016, Cork, Ireland
  • XIIth French-Romanian Symposium on Polymers, September 4-7, 2016, Sophia Antipolis, Franceblank

July 2016: Istvan K. and Yves-Marie L. attended the Gordon Research Conference on Membranes:

Materials & Processes in New London, HN, USA. Istvan was undertaken a 2-months doctoral research stay

within Prof. G. Belfort's group at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, where he worked on polymer brushes for water filtration


July 2016: Mihai D. BARBOIU has been invited to deliver the RSC Surfaces and Interfaces Award Lectureat The 5th International Conference on Molecular Sensors and Molecular Logic Gates

(MSMLG2016, University of Bath from 24th to 28th of July 2016)


May 2016: The NSA team is glad to welcome from the Petru Poni Institute of Macrocyclic Chemistry (ICMPP) in Iasi,

Romania, Dr Lilia Clima and Mr Radu Zonda, who will stay repectively for a 2-months postdoctoral and 3-months doctoral stay.

And Yu-Hao Li who will stay for a two-years doctoral stay founded by the Lehn Institute for Advanced Materials, Sun Yat-Sen University Guangzhou, China.

April 2016: Congratulation to Erol & Istvan for their contribution in the lastest work on artificial water channelsthat just got accepted in J. Am. Chem. Soc. ! This a great example of synergetic collaborative work between some of our partners (M. Kumar from Penn State Univ. and M. Baaden from Univ. Pierre & Marie Curie)


And check out the latest Feature Article in Chem. Commun. on "Artificial water channels – incipient innovative developments"


And recent research activities related to artificial potassium channels have been highligthed on the CNRS-Chemistry website: En direct des laboratoires de l'institut de Chimie: De nouveaux canaux potassiques artificiels hautement sélectifs


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Selected publications