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Nature 437, 656-663 (29 September 2005) | doi:10.1038/nature04164; Published online 28 September 2005

Polymer-supported membranes as models of the cell surface

Motomu Tanaka1,2 & Erich Sackmann1

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Lipid-bilayer membranes supported on solid substrates are widely used as cell-surface models that connect biological and artificial materials. They can be placed either directly on solids or on ultrathin polymer supports that mimic the generic role of the extracellular matrix. The tools of modern genetic engineering and bioorganic chemistry make it possible to couple many types of biomolecule to supported membranes. This results in sophisticated interfaces that can be used to control, organize and study the properties and function of membranes and membrane-associated proteins. Particularly exciting opportunities arise when these systems are coupled with advanced semiconductor technology.

  1. Department of Physics, Technical University of Munich, D-85748 Garching, Germany.
  2. Present address: Institute for Physical Chemistry, University of Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Correspondence to: Motomu Tanaka1,2 mtanaka@ph.tum.de

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