The modulation of the transmembrane voltage of receptor cells using mechanical stimuli is an essential component of touch and hearing senses. Such stimuli influence the conducting state of mechano-sensitive channels, which in turn adjusts the ionic permeation and consequently the transmembrane voltage. The necessity of ion channels in these transduction processes seems obvious due to the non-conductive nature of a lipid membrane. However, our electrophysiology experiments show that a bare, artificial lipid membrane exposed to mechanical stress allows the passage of inorganic ions. We concluded that lipid membranes may constitute an important component of the transduction mechanism under mechanical stimuli.
Finn, Pangaea W.; Feci, Andrea; McKinney, Fulton; Smith, Aviana R.; and Whiting, Rosey, "Mechanical Stress Modulates the Ionic Conductance of Bilayer Lipid Membranes" (2021). 2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 80.