Electrophoretic measurements of lipid charges in supported bilayers

Matthew F. Poyton, Paul S. Cremer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


While electrophoresis in lipid bilayers has been performed since the 1970s, the technique has until now been unable to accurately measure the charge on lipids and proteins within the membrane based on drift velocity measurements. Part of the problem is caused by the use of the Einstein-Smoluchowski equation to estimate the electrophoretic mobility of such species. The source of the error arises from the fact that a lipid headgroup is typically smaller than the Debye length of the adjacent aqueous solution in most electrophoresis experiments. Instead, the Henry equation can more accurately predict the electrophoretic mobility at sufficient ionic strength. This was done for three dye-labeled lipids with different sized head groups and a charge on each lipid of -1. Also, the charge was measured as a function of pH for two titratable lipids that were fluorescently labeled. Finally, it was shown that the Henry equation also has difficulties measuring the correct lipid charge at salt concentrations below 5 mM, where electroosmotic forces are more significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10803-10811
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 19 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


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