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Polymerization in black lipid membranes

Influence on ion transport

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  • 19 Citations


A variety of different lipids containing dienoyl groups in the side chains were tested for membrane formation using the planar lipid bilayer approach. One of these lipids formed stable bilayers which could be polymerized using UV-illumination. The influence of the polymerization was studied in monolayers, lipid vesicles and planar bilayers. The stability of the lipid bilayer membranes was increased by polymerization. Thus, the lifetime of the membranes increased from about 1 h to 4–5 h or longer. Furthermore, the specific conductance of unmodified membranes and of carrier-mediated transport is reduced. The transport of lipophilic ions was investigated as a function of polymerization using the charge-pulse method. The absorption of dipicrylamine (DPA-) is not affected. The translocation of this compound and of tetraphenylborate (B(Ph) 4 - ) showed a strong decrease with polymerization time. The influence of polymerization on the membrane structure may be explained on the basis of a strong viscosity increase in the lipid bilayer membrane.

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Correspondence to H. Ringsdorf.

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Benz, R., Elbert, R., Prass, W. et al. Polymerization in black lipid membranes. Eur Biophys J 14, 83–92 (1986).

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Key words

  • Black lipid membrane
  • carrier
  • charge pulse relaxation
  • lipophilic ions
  • polymerizable lipid