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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Jan 11;128(1):42-3.

Hydrogel-encapsulated lipid membranes.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


We have encapsulated free-standing planar lipid membranes in a polymer hydrogel via in situ photopolymerization. These encapsulated membranes were measured to last at least 5 days and provided a stable environment for single-molecule measurements of incorporated alpha-hemolysin channel proteins. The translocation of single-stranded DNA through alpha-hemolysin incorporated into these encapsulated membranes is slowed over 100 times relative to that of the gel-free state. These stabilized membranes, therefore, have application to the single-molecule analysis of DNA as well as broader application to biomolecular sensors, membrane protein biophysical studies, and drug discovery.

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