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      Engineering Lipid Bilayer Membranes for Protein Studies


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          Lipid membranes regulate the flow of nutrients and communication signaling between cells and protect the sub-cellular structures. Recent attempts to fabricate artificial systems using nanostructures that mimic the physiological properties of natural lipid bilayer membranes (LBM) fused with transmembrane proteins have helped demonstrate the importance of temperature, pH, ionic strength, adsorption behavior, conformational reorientation and surface density in cellular membranes which all affect the incorporation of proteins on solid surfaces. Much of this work is performed on artificial templates made of polymer sponges or porous materials based on alumina, mica, and porous silicon (PSi) surfaces. For example, porous silicon materials have high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and photoluminescence, which allow them to be used both as a support structure for lipid bilayers or a template to measure the electrochemical functionality of living cells grown over the surface as in vivo. The variety of these media, coupled with the complex physiological conditions present in living systems, warrant a summary and prospectus detailing which artificial systems provide the most promise for different biological conditions. This study summarizes the use of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) data on artificial biological membranes that are closely matched with previously published biological systems using both black lipid membrane and patch clamp techniques.

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          Most cited references237

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          The cell as a collection of protein machines: preparing the next generation of molecular biologists.

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            Understanding protein adsorption phenomena at solid surfaces.

            Protein adsorption at solid surfaces plays a key role in many natural processes and has therefore promoted a widespread interest in many research areas. Despite considerable progress in this field there are still widely differing and even contradictive opinions on how to explain the frequently observed phenomena such as structural rearrangements, cooperative adsorption, overshooting adsorption kinetics, or protein aggregation. In this review recent achievements and new perspectives on protein adsorption processes are comprehensively discussed. The main focus is put on commonly postulated mechanistic aspects and their translation into mathematical concepts and model descriptions. Relevant experimental and computational strategies to practically approach the field of protein adsorption mechanisms and their impact on current successes are outlined. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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              Polymer-supported membranes as models of the cell surface.

              Lipid-bilayer membranes supported on solid substrates are widely used as cell-surface models that connect biological and artificial materials. They can be placed either directly on solids or on ultrathin polymer supports that mimic the generic role of the extracellular matrix. The tools of modern genetic engineering and bioorganic chemistry make it possible to couple many types of biomolecule to supported membranes. This results in sophisticated interfaces that can be used to control, organize and study the properties and function of membranes and membrane-associated proteins. Particularly exciting opportunities arise when these systems are coupled with advanced semiconductor technology.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
                November 2013
                31 October 2013
                : 14
                : 11
                : 21561-21597
                [1 ]Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA; E-Mail: msk0003@ 123456uah.edu
                [2 ]Biological Sciences Department, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA; E-Mail: nsd0003@ 123456uah.edu
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: john.williams@ 123456uah.edu ; Tel.: +1-256-824-2898; Fax: +1-256-824-6618.
                © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).


                Molecular biology
                lipid bilayer membrane,nanoporous materials,silicon,transmembrane proteins,electrochemical impedance spectroscopy


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