Creating fluid and air-stable solid supported lipid bilayers

Matthew A. Holden, Seung Yong Jung, Tinglu Yang, Edward T. Castellana, Paul S. Cremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Solid supported lipid bilayers are rapidly delaminated when drawn through the air/water interface. We have discovered that a close packed monolayer of specifically bound protein prevents this process. The protection mechanism worked in two ways. First, when protein-protected bilayers were drawn through the air/water interface, a thin bulk water layer was visible over the entire bilayer region, thereby preventing air from contacting the surface. Second, a stream of nitrogen was used to remove all bulk water from a protected bilayer, which remained fully intact as determined by fluorescence microscopy. The condition of this dried bilayer was further probed by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. It was found that lipids were not two-dimensionally mobile in dry air. However, when the bilayer was placed in a humid environment, 91% of the bleached fluorescence signal was recovered, indicating long-range two-dimensional mobility. The diffusion coefficient of lipids under humid conditions was an order of magnitude slower than the same bilayer under water. Protected bilayers could be rehydrated after drying, and their characteristic diffusion coefficient was reestablished. Insights into the mechanism of bilayer preservation were suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6512-6513
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jun 2 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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