Supported lipid bilayer repair mediated by AH peptide
Journal article, 2016
The adsorption and fusion of small unilamellar lipid vesicles on silica-based substrates such as glass is a common method used to fabricate supported lipid bilayers. Successful bilayer formation depends on a number of experimental conditions as well as on the quality of the vesicle preparation. Inevitably, a small fraction of unruptured vesicles always remains in a supported bilayer, and this kind of defect can have devastating influences on the morphological and electrical properties of the supported bilayer when used as a biosensing platform. In this paper, a simple method is reported to improve the completeness of supported bilayers by adding a vesicle rupturing peptide as a final step in the fabrication process. Peptide treatment reduces the fraction of unruptured vesicles to less than 1%, as determined by epifluorescence microscopy and quartz crystal microbalance-dissipation experiments. This step can easily be incorporated into existing procedures for preparing high-quality supported lipid bilayers.