In Situ Preparation and Modification of Supported Lipid Layers by Lipid Transfer from Vesicles Studied by QCM-D and TOF-SIMS
Journal article, 2009
The study of lipid transfer between lipid membranes is of great interest for the fundamental understanding of this complex and important process and, furthermore, for providing a new avenue for the in situ modification of supported lipid bilayers (SLBs). SLBs are conveniently formed by vesicle spreading onto a solid support, but this method is limited to conditions (i.e., combination of vesicle lipid composition, surface chemical properties, and buffer) such that the vesicles break spontaneously upon adsorption to the surface. Many SLB compositions are not accessible by this approach. In the present study, we give an example of how lipid transfer can be made use of to form lipid layers with striking new features, notably with respect to stability. After lipid transfer between negatively charged POPS small unilamellar vesicles and a positively charged POEPC SLB on TiO2, an SLB is obtained, which, upon exposure to SDS, leaves behind a lipid monolayer. It is shown how this monolayer can be used for creating new SLBs. The several step procedure, bilayer formation, lipid transfer, removal of a lipid monolayer and the reassembly of a bilayer, is monitored in real time by the quartz crystal microbalance with a dissipation (QCM-D) technique, and the lipid composition is analyzed for each step in postpreparation spectroscopic analyses using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). Comparison of the measured signal ratios with those of the reference samples containing known fractions of D31-POPS directly shows that the relative concentration of D31-POPS is similar to 50% in the SLB after D31-POPS exchange, significantly higher in the monolayer prepared in situ by SDS rinse, and similar to 20-25% after reassembly of the SLB using POEPC vesicles. The results thus provide unambiguous evidence for extensive lipid transfer between the initial POEPC SLB and D31-POPS vesicles in solution. We suggest that the reassembled SLB has a significant asymmetry between the two leaflets, and we propose that the described method is promising for the in situ preparation of asymmetric SLBs.