Solid-Supported Lipid Bilayers for the Incorporation of Transmembrane Proteins

A. Offenhäusser, T. Baumgart, A. T. A. Jenkins, K. Morigaki, and H. Wieder

Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research, P.O. Box 3146, D-55021 Mainz, Germany


The functional coupling of lipid bilayers with solid substrates has become a popular research field in recent years for a number of reasons: firstly, the stable arrangement in a planar configuration allows structural and dynamical characterization of these systems; secondly, in combination with a planar electrode it will be possible to get access to functional features of the membrane like ion translocation due to integral ionophores or reconstituted proteins. The latter point will be particularly attractive for various concepts in the development of bio-electronic devices where the bilayer acts as a matrix for the incorporation of highly sensitive and selective receptor proteins.

We will report on various concepts how to construct such bilayers on solid substrates: the formation of a bilayer directly bound to the substrate by fusion of thiolipid containing vesicles onto gold surfaces and the construction of polymer supported bilayers by either direct coupling of lipopolymers to the surface or by a layer-by-layer deposition of the structural elements starting from the solid support. In addition we will report on the possibilities to laterally pattern this bilayer structures by micro contact printing (µCP) or photoinduced cross-linking of polymerizable lipids. Finally, the functional incorporation of ionophores and proteins in these supramolecular structures and their characterization will be shown.