Researchers from MIT have fabricated a functional dialysis membrane from a sheet of graphene. The team’s membrane is able to filter out nanometer-sized molecules from aqueous solutions up to 10 times faster than state-of-the-art membranes, with the graphene itself being up to 100 times faster. The graphene membrane is also very thin; It's less than 1 nanometer thick, while the thinnest existing membranes are about 20 nanometers thick.
Dialysis can be generally described as the process by which molecules filter out of one solution by diffusing through a membrane, into a more dilute solution. The most recognizable form is hemodialysis, which removes waste from blood, but scientists also use dialysis for many other applications, like purifying drugs, removing residue from chemical solutions, and more, typically by allowing the materials to pass through a porous membrane.