Layer-by-layer assembly of supported lipid bilayer poly-l-lysine multilayers

Heath, George R. and Li, Mengqiu and Polignano, Isabelle L. and Richens, Joanna L. and Catucci, Gianluca and O'Shea, Paul and Sadeghi, Sheila J. and Gilardi, Gianfranco and Butt, Julea N. and Jeuken, Lars J.C. (2016) Layer-by-layer assembly of supported lipid bilayer poly-l-lysine multilayers. Biomacromolecules, 17 (1). pp. 324-335. ISSN 1525-7797

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Multilayer lipid membranes form many important functions in biology, such as electrical isolation (myelination of axons), increased surface area for biocatalytic purposes (thylakoid grana and mitochondrial cristae) and sequential processing (golgi cisternae). Here we develop a simple layer-by-layer methodology to form lipid multilayers via vesicle rupture onto existing supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) using poly-l-lysine (PLL) as an electrostatic polymer linker. The assembly process was monitored at the macroscale by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) and nanoscale by atomic force microscopy (AFM) for up to six lipid bilayers. By varying buffer pH and PLL chain length we show that longer chains (>300 kDa) at pH 9.0 form thicker polymer supported multilayers, whilst at low pH and shorter length PLL, we create close packed layers (average lipid bilayers separations of 2.8 nm and 0.8 nm, respectively). Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and AFM were used to show that the diffusion of lipid and three different membrane proteins in the multilayered membranes has little dependence on lipid stack number or separation between membranes. These approaches provide a straightforward route to creating the complex membrane structures that are found throughout nature, allowing possible applications in areas such as energy production and biosensing whilst developing our understanding of the biological processes at play.

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22 Jun 2018 10:18
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 01:13