Biotechnology applications of tethered lipid bilayer membranes
Jackman, Joshua A.
Date of Issue2012
School of Materials Science and Engineering
The importance of cell membranes in biological systems has prompted the development of model membrane platforms that recapitulate fundamental aspects of membrane biology, especially the lipid bilayer environment. Tethered lipid bilayers represent one of the most promising classes of model membranes and are based on the immobilization of a planar lipid bilayer on a solid support that enables characterization by a wide range of surface-sensitive analytical techniques. Moreover, as the result of molecular engineering inspired by biology, tethered bilayers are increasingly able to mimic fundamental properties of natural cell membranes, including fluidity, electrical sealing and hosting transmembrane proteins. At the same time, new methods have been employed to improve the durability of tethered bilayers, with shelf-lives now reaching the order of weeks and months. Taken together, the capabilities of tethered lipid bilayers have opened the door to biotechnology applications in healthcare, environmental monitoring and energy storage. In this review, several examples of such applications are presented. Beyond the particulars of each example, the focus of this review is on the emerging design and characterization strategies that made these applications possible. By drawing connections between these strategies and promising research results, future opportunities for tethered lipid bilayers within the biotechnology field are discussed.
© 2012 The Authors (licensee MDPI). This paper was published in Materials and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of the authors. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma5122637]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.