Membrane NMR: a dyanmic research area

Michael F Brown, Gerald D. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Recent NMR relaxation studies of lipid bilayers and biomembranes are explained and briefly discussed. The results of both 2H and 13C NMR investigations suggest that, in addition to rapid local fluctuations of the hydrocarbon chains, slower, more collective motions of the bilayer exist. When the influence of the latter is recognized and properly accounted for, the contribution from local motions can be used to estimate a value for the microviscosity of the bilayer which corresponds to that of a simple n-paraffinic liquid. In general, the dynamic behavior of lipid bilayers as studied by NMR appears quite similar to that of simpler liquid crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biochemical and Biophysical Methods
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes



  • lipid bilayers
  • liquid crystals
  • microviscosity
  • molecular dynamics
  • NMR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics

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