Reconstitution of Membrane Molecular Mechanisms in Bilayer Lipid Membranes and Patch-Clamp Bilayers

Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 14)


A variety of important cellular processes such as excitability, ion transport, and neurohormonal regulation depend on the operation of macromolecular complexes in biomembranes. In view of these diverse and intricate processes, it is not surprising that biomembranes are very complex functionally. The molecular organization of biomembranes, as revealed by physical chemical studies, includes a lipid bilayer core, associated proteins, glycolipids, and other nonlipid materials. The bilayer is about 50 Å thick in a relatively liquid state with proteins and nonlipid materials arranged on each side as well as transversely across the lipid bilayer. Because of this delicate structure and its dimensions, direct experimental investigation of the biomembrane is exceedingly difficult at the membrane level. Thus, to overcome constraints imposed by the complexity of biomembrane, a number of artificial membrane systems have been developed. In this survey we are concerned with the experimental bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) of planar configuration as well as with patch-clamp bilayers. The review on BLM is in no sense complete; it is not possible to cite a great number of excellent papers in this expanding field of BLM research owing to space limitation. References may be consulted on the topics not covered here (Blumenthal and Klausner, 1982; Etemadi, 1983; Miller, 1986; Shamoo and Tivol, 1980; Tien, 1974).


Sodium Channel Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Channel Activity Bilayer Lipid Membrane Native Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Membrane Biophysics Laboratory, Department of PhysiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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