PH responsive polymer cushions for probing membrane environment interactions

Rita J. El-Khouri, Daniel A. Bricarello, Erik B. Watkins, Caroline Y. Kim, Chad E. Miller, Timothy E. Patten, Atul N. Parikh, Tonya L. Kuhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A robust and straightforward method for the preparation of lipid membranes upon dynamically responsive polymer cushions is reported. Structural characterization demonstrates that complete, well-packed membranes with tunable mobility can be constructed on the polymeric cushion. With this system, membrane conformational changes induced by cellular cytoskeleton interactions can be modeled. The membrane can be tailored to screen the cushion from changes in pH or allow rapid response to the pH environment by incorporation of protein ion channels. This elementary system offers a means to replicate the conformational changes that occur with the cellular cytoskeleton and has great potential for fundamental biophysical studies of membrane properties and membrane-protein interactions decoupled from the underlying solid support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2169-2172
Number of pages4
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 11 2011


  • lipid bilayer
  • neutron reflectivity
  • pH responsive
  • poly(acrylic acid)
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • polymer cushion
  • supported membrane
  • X-ray reflectometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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