Transport across artificial membranes–an analytical perspective

Janshoff, Andreas; Steinem, Claudia
July 2006
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Jul2006, Vol. 385 Issue 3, p433
Academic Journal
Biosensors that make use of transport processes across lipid membranes are very rare even though a stimulus, the binding of a single analyte molecule, can enhance the sensor response manifold if the analyte leads to the transport of more than one ion or molecule across the membrane. Prerequisite for a proper function of such membrane based biosensors is the formation of lipid bilayers attached to a support that allow for the insertion of membrane peptides and proteins in a functional manner. In this review, the current state of the art technologies to obtain lipid membranes on various supports are described. Solid supported membranes on transparent and electrically conducting surfaces, lipid bilayers on micromachined apertures and on porous materials are discussed. The focus lies on the applicability of such membranes for the investigation of transport phenomena across lipid bilayers facilitated by membrane embedded peptides, channel proteins and transporters. Carriers and channel forming peptides, which are easy to handle and rather robust, are used frequently to build up membrane based biosensors. However, channel forming proteins and transporters are more difficult to insert functionally and thus, there are yet only few examples that demonstrate the applicability of such systems as biosensor devices. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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