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J Med Eng Technol. 2013 Jan;37(1):28-34. doi: 10.3109/03091902.2012.733056.

Investigation of transmembrane protein fused in lipid bilayer membranes supported on porous silicon.

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  • 1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA.


This article investigates a device made from a porous silicon structure supporting a lipid bilayer membrane (LBM)fused with Epithelial Sodium Channel protein. The electrochemically-fabricated porous silicon template had pore diameters in the range 0.2~2 ┬Ám. Membranes were composed of two synthetic phospholipids: 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoserine and 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine. The LBMwas formed by means of the Langmuir-Blodgett and Langmuir-Schaefer techniques, at a monolayer surface tension of 26 m Nm(-1) in room temperature and on a deionized water subphase, which resulted in an average molecular area of 0.68-0.73 nm(2). Fusion of transmembrane protein was investigated using Atomic Force Microscopy. Initial atomic force microscopy results demonstrate the ability to support lipid bilayers fused with transmembrane proteins across a porous silicon substrate. However, more control of the membrane's surface tension using traditional membrane fusion techniques is required to optimize protein incorporation.

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