Nanopore Arrays for Stable and Functional Free-Standing Lipid Bilayers


  • We thank Oliver Dubochet and Dr. Patrick Surbled (Axetris) for nanopore chips fabrication. The support of Konrad Vogelsang and Jean-Jacques Hefti (PSI) for the silanization is kindly acknowledged. We also thank Dr. Michel Steinmetz and Prof. Dr. Ehud M. Landau for helpful discussions. The research was partially supported by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) grant #7644.2


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Lipid bilayers in nanopores are stable for days. The stability depends on the nature of the lipid as well on the pore diameter as investigated by impedance spectroscopy. Bilayers formed of palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine are stable up to 4 days in 200 nm pores regularly arrayed in a 300 nm thin silicon nitride support. The transport of K+ across bilayers by valinomycin demonstrates that this support material has a high potential to monitor functions of membrane proteins.