Authors: E. Reimhult, C. Merz, Q. Ye and M. Textor
Affilation: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland
Pages: 688 - 691
Keywords: lipid, bilayer, polymer, tether, PEG, liposome fusion, kinetics
Many important biological processes occur at, via or across one of the various lipid membranes present in the cell. These include transport governed by transmembrane proteins constituting more than 50% of all drug targets of interest. Designing and controlling the self-assembly of model membranes onto sensor substrates thus constitutes an important field of research. In particular the assembly of membranes onto sorted arrays and sensor substrates allowing electrochemical functional studies of membrane proteins under near-native conditions are sought after. We present novel self-assembly protocols to produce and analyze a variety of membrane mimics. These include supported membranes mimicking bacterial cell membranes in composition and the kinetics of formation of PEG-cushioned and PEG-containing membranes and vesicles. The former is of interest as a tool in designing and understanding the function of antimicrobial peptides and the latter are of interest due to their ability to incorporate large transmembrane proteins and their demonstrated ability to withstand drying.