Lab on a Biomembrane: Rapid prototyping and manipulation of 2D fluidic lipid bilayers circuits
Journal article, 2013
Lipid bilayer membranes are among the most ubiquitous structures in the living world, with intricate structural features and a multitude of biological functions. It is attractive to recreate these structures in the laboratory, as this allows mimicking and studying the properties of biomembranes and their constituents, and to specifically exploit the intrinsic two-dimensional fluidity. Even though diverse strategies for membrane fabrication have been reported, the development of related applications and technologies has been hindered by the unavailability of both versatile and simple methods. Here we report a rapid prototyping technology for two-dimensional fluidic devices, based on in-situ generated circuits of phospholipid films. In this "lab on a molecularly thin membrane'', various chemical and physical operations, such as writing, erasing, functionalization, and molecular transport, can be applied to user-defined regions of a membrane circuit. This concept is an enabling technology for research on molecular membranes and their technological use.