The University of Southampton

Formation of Artificial Lipid Bilayers using Droplet Dielectrophoresis

Left) Two droplets came into contact by applying low voltage into inner electrodes. A BLM is formed by the two contacting lipid monolayers at the droplet-droplet interface. Right) A droplet-interface bilayer network is formed by contacting three droplets.
Themes:
Microfluidics and Lab-on-a-chip, Bionanotechnology and Biosensors
Funding:
Self funded

We developed a new method for formation of artificial bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) by the controlled, electrical manipulation of aqueous droplets immersed in a lipid-alkane solution. Droplet movement was generated using dielectrophoresis on planar microelectrodes covered in a thin insulator. Droplets, surrounded by lipid monolayers, were brought into contact and spontaneously formed a BLM. The method produced BLMs suitable for acquisition of electrophysiological data from membrane proteins, and the technique can be extended to create programmable BLM arrays and networks.

Primary investigators

Associated research groups

  • Nano Research Group
  • Southampton Nanofabrication Centre
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