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Membranes (Basel). 2020 Feb 18;10(2). pii: E30. doi: 10.3390/membranes10020030.

Creating Supported Plasma Membrane Bilayers Using Acoustic Pressure.

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MRC Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK.
Science for Life Laboratory, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, 171 65 Stockholm, Sweden.
Bioengineering Science Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS), University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ Southampton, UK.
McGovern Medical School, Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK.
Institute of Applied Optics and Biophysics, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Wien Platz 4, 07743 Jena, Germany.
Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology e.V., Albert-Einstein-Straße 9, 07745 Jena, Germany.


Model membrane systems are essential tools for the study of biological processes in a simplified setting to reveal the underlying physicochemical principles. As cell-derived membrane systems, giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) constitute an intermediate model between live cells and fully artificial structures. Certain applications, however, require planar membrane surfaces. Here, we report a new approach for creating supported plasma membrane bilayers (SPMBs) by bursting cell-derived GPMVs using ultrasound within a microfluidic device. We show that the mobility of outer leaflet molecules is preserved in SPMBs, suggesting that they are accessible on the surface of the bilayers. Such model membrane systems are potentially useful in many applications requiring detailed characterization of plasma membrane dynamics.


GPMVs; acoustic pressure; plasma membrane bilayers; plasma membrane vesicles; supported bilayers

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