Droplet Bilayers as a Novel Means of Adjustable Stable Synthetic Membrane Formation

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Physics

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Daniel Fologea


The goal of our work was to extend an experimental method of synthetic lipid membrane formation for biophysical study of selective membrane transporters and the membranes they can inhabit. Droplet bilayer formation is a novel approach to produce highly stable bilayer lipid membranes. The volume and composition of the droplet solution may be changed to facilitate both a variable area of bilayer membrane interface and solution chemistry adjustment for electrophysiological experimentation. To achieve our scientific goal, a glass pipette tip is used to form the water droplet with accompanying lipid monolayer with a microfluidic injection system used to control volume and composition of the solution. Unlike similar experimental systems, the presented interface allows easy buffer exchange and molecule addition from both the droplet and planar side of the membrane system. Our results show that the experimental setup is useful for producing highly stable lipid bilayer membranes, allowing the transport of organic ions and insertion of ionophores, as well as the creation of large transmembrane voltages when selective membranes are formed.

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