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21 March 2001 Lipid bilayers suspended on microfabricated supports
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The plasma membrane, that exists as part of many animal and plant cells, is a regulator for the transport of ions and small molecules across cell boundaries. Two main components involved are the phospholipid bilayer and the transport proteins. This paper details the construction of a micromachined support for bilayers (MSB) as a first step towards the development of highly selective and highly sensitive ion-channel based biosensors. The device consists of a ~100 ?m hole in a polymeric support above a cavity that can hold ~25 nL of electrolyte. Electrodes attached to the structure allow the resistance of the membranes to be measured using d.c. conductivity. The MSB is made in two halves, using SU8 ultra-thick resist, which are subsequently bonded together to make the final structure. A layer of gold, surrounding the aperture, enables self-assembled monolayers of alkanethiols to be used to make the polymeric structure biocompatible. Lipid membranes have been formed over these holes with resistances comparable with those of natural membranes >107 ?cm2. The ion-channel gramicidin has successfully been incorporated into the bilayer and its activity monitored. It is proposed that this type of device could be used not only for studying membrane transport phenomena but also as part of an ion-channel based biosensor.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Simon D. Ogier, Richard J. Bushby, Yaling Cheng, Tim I. Cox, Stephen D. Evans, Peter F. Knowles, Robert E. Miles, and Ian Pattison "Lipid bilayers suspended on microfabricated supports", Proc. SPIE 4235, Smart Structures and Devices, (21 March 2001);

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