Water inside and between cells with dimensions on the order of 101-103 nm such as synaptic clefts and mitochondria is thought to be important to biological functions, such as signal transmissions and energy production. However, the characterization of water in such spaces has been difficult owing to the small size and complexity of cellular environments. To this end, we proposed and fabricated a biomimetic nanospace exploiting nanofluidic channels with defined dimensions of hundreds of nanometers and controlled environments. A method of modifying a glass nanochannel with a unilamellar lipid bilayer was developed. We revealed that 2.1-5.6 times higher viscosity of water arises in a 200 nm sized biomimetic nanospace by interactions between water molecules and the lipid bilayer surface and significantly affects the molecular/ion transport that is required for the biological functions. The proposed method provides both a technical breakthrough and new findings to the fields of physical chemistry and biology.
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