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Nat Protoc. 2010 Jun;5(6):1096-106. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2010.65. Epub 2010 May 20.

Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring of supported lipid bilayers on various substrates.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.


Supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) mimic biological membranes and are a versatile platform for a wide range of biophysical research fields including lipid-protein interactions, protein-protein interactions and membrane-based biosensors. The quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) has had a pivotal role in understanding SLB formation on various substrates. As shown by its real-time kinetic monitoring of SLB formation, QCM-D can probe the dynamics of biomacromolecular interactions. We present a protocol for constructing zwitterionic SLBs supported on silicon oxide and titanium oxide, and discuss technical issues that need to be considered when working with charged lipid compositions. Furthermore, we explain a recently developed strategy that uses an amphipathic, alpha-helical (AH) peptide to form SLBs on gold and titanium oxide substrates. The protocols can be completed in less than 3 h.

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