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Biophys J. 2006 Sep 1;91(5):1757-66. Epub 2006 Jun 9.

Phospholipid vesicle fusion on micropatterned polymeric bilayer substrates.

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Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka 560-0043, Japan.


As an approach to create versatile model systems of the biological membrane we have recently developed a novel micropatterning strategy of substrate-supported planar lipid bilayers (SPBs) based on photolithographic polymerization of a diacetylene phospholipid, 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. The micropatterned SPBs are composed of a polymeric bilayer matrix and embedded fluid lipid bilayers. In this study, we investigated the incorporation of fluid bilayers into micropatterned polymeric bilayer matrices through the adsorption and reorganization of phospholipid vesicles (vesicle fusion). Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy observation showed that vesicle fusion started at the boundary of polymeric bilayers and propagated into the central part of lipid-free regions. On the other hand, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring revealed that the transformation from adsorbed vesicles into SPBs was significantly accelerated for substrates with micropatterned polymeric bilayers. These results indicate that the edges of polymeric bilayers catalyze the formation of SPBs by destabilizing adsorbed vesicles and also support the premise that polymeric bilayers and embedded fluid bilayers are forming a continuous hybrid bilayer membrane, sealing energetically unfavorable bilayer edges.

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