Letter | Published:

Solvent-depleted bilayer membranes from concentrated lipid solutions

Naturevolume 272pages839840 (1978) | Download Citation



MODEL bimolecular lipid membranes (BLMs) contain lipid solvents, such as n-alkanes, which are not normally present in biological membranes1,2. Studies aimed at overcoming this limitation have established that the volume of solvent within the BLM can be estimated by measurement of the bilayer specific geometric capacitance3–6. We have used this aproach to evaluate the distribution of solvent between the BLM and its supporting organic bulk solution (torus). Decreasing the solvent content of the torus solution resulted in a decrease in the solvent content of the BLM. Moreover, membranes that are nearly free of residual solvent could be formed from highly concentrated lipid solutions having a minimal amount of solvent. The observed concentration dependence of BLM capacitance may reconcile the differences between membranes formed from submerged bulk solutions and those formed from excess lipid monolayers7.

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  1. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, 77550

    •  & GABOR SZABO


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