Hydraphiles: design, synthesis and analysis of a family of synthetic, cation-conducting channels
The concept of channels has been with us more than a century. For half a century, biologists have studied the remarkable workings of protein and peptide channels that permit various cations and small molecules to pass through the phospholipid bilayer membrane. During the past decade, attempts have been made by chemists and biochemists to examine the action of channel compounds from the chemical point of view and to model their function using synthetic structures. What follows is a description of our own efforts to design, synthesize, and characterize a cation transporter that functions in a phospholipid bilayer.