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      Droplet-Based Membranous Soft Materials

      1 , 1

      Langmuir

      American Chemical Society (ACS)

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          Most cited references 109

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          A tissue-like printed material.

          Living cells communicate and cooperate to produce the emergent properties of tissues. Synthetic mimics of cells, such as liposomes, are typically incapable of cooperation and therefore cannot readily display sophisticated collective behavior. We printed tens of thousands of picoliter aqueous droplets that become joined by single lipid bilayers to form a cohesive material with cooperating compartments. Three-dimensional structures can be built with heterologous droplets in software-defined arrangements. The droplet networks can be functionalized with membrane proteins; for example, to allow rapid electrical communication along a specific path. The networks can also be programmed by osmolarity gradients to fold into otherwise unattainable designed structures. Printed droplet networks might be interfaced with tissues, used as tissue engineering substrates, or developed as mimics of living tissue.
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            Droplet interface bilayers.

            Droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) provide a superior platform for the biophysical analysis of membrane proteins. The versatile DIBs can also form networks, with features that include built-in batteries and sensors.
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              Lipid bilayer formation by contacting monolayers in a microfluidic device for membrane protein analysis.

              Artificial planar lipid bilayers are a powerful tool for the functional study of membrane proteins, yet they have not been widely used due to their low stability and reproducibility. This paper describes an accessible method to form a planar lipid bilayer, simply by contacting two monolayers assembled at the interface between water and organic solvent in a microfluidic chip. The membrane of an organic solvent containing phospholipids at the interface was confirmed to be a bilayer by the capacitance measurement and by measuring the ion channel signal from reconstituted antibiotic peptides. We present two different designs for bilayer formation. One equips two circular wells connected, in which the water/solvent/water interface was formed by simply injecting a water droplet into each well. Another equips the cross-shaped microfluidic channel. In the latter design, formation of the interface at the sectional area was controlled by external syringe pumps. Both methods are extremely simple and reproducible, especially in microdevices, and will lead to automation and multiple bilayer formation for the high-throughput screening of membrane transport in physiological and pharmaceutical studies.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Langmuir
                Langmuir
                American Chemical Society (ACS)
                0743-7463
                1520-5827
                March 23 2021
                March 09 2021
                March 23 2021
                : 37
                : 11
                : 3231-3247
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, United States
                Article
                10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c03289
                © 2021

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