Enhanced long-term stability for single ion channel recordings using suspended poly(lipid) bilayers

Benjamin A. Heitz, Juhua Xu, Henry K. Hall, Craig A. Aspinwall, S. Scott Saavedra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


(Figure Presented) Black lipid membranes (BLMs) are widely used for recording the activity of incorporated ion channel proteins. However, BLMs are inherently unstable structures that typically rupture within a few hours after formation. Here, stabilized BLMs were formed using the polymerizable lipid bis-dienoyl phosphatidylcholine (bis-DenPC) on glass pipettes of ∼10 μm (I.D.). After polymerization, these BLMs maintained steady conductance values for several weeks, as compared to a few hours for unpolymerized membranes. The activity of an ion channel, A-hemolysin, incorporated into bis-DenPC BLMs prior to polymerization, was maintained for 1 week after BLM formation and polymerization. These lifetimes are a substantial improvement over those achievable with conventional BLM technologies. Polymerized BLMs containing functional ion channels may represent an enabling technology for development of robust biosensors and drug screening devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6662-6663
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 20 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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