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Methods Mol Biol. 2013;974:1-21. doi: 10.1007/978-1-62703-275-9_1.

Quartz crystal microbalances as tools for probing protein-membrane interactions.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University, Aarhusc, Denmark.


Extensive studies on the spontaneous collapse of phospholipid vesicles into supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) have led to procedures which allow SLB formation on a wealth of substrates and lipid compositions. SLBs provide a widely accepted and versatile model system which mimics the natural cell membrane separating the extracellular and intracellular fluids of the living cell. The quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) has been central both in the understanding of vesicle collapse into SLBs on various substrates and in probing the kinetics and mechanisms of biomolecular interactions with SLBs in real time. We describe a robust procedure to form SLBs of zwitterionic and charged lipids on SiO(2) sensor crystals which subsequently can be exploited to probe the interaction between proteins and peptides with the SLB.

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