Send to

Choose Destination
Nanotechnology. 2011 Feb 4;22(5):055709. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/22/5/055709. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Temperature-dependent phase transitions in zeptoliter volumes of a complex biological membrane.

Author information

The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA.


Phase transitions in purple membrane have been a topic of debate for the past two decades. In this work we present studies of a reversible transition of purple membrane in the 50-60 °C range in zeptoliter volumes under different heating regimes (global heating and local heating). The temperature of the reversible phase transition is 52 ± 5 °C for both local and global heating, supporting the hypothesis that this transition is mainly due to a structural rearrangement of bR molecules and trimers. To achieve high resolution measurements of temperature-dependent phase transitions, a new scanning probe microscopy-based method was developed. We believe that our new technique can be extended to other biological systems and can contribute to the understanding of inhomogeneous phase transitions in complex systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for IOP Publishing Ltd.
Loading ...
Support Center