Real-time dynamics of carbon nanotube porins in supported lipid membranes visualized by high-speed atomic force microscopy

Yuliang Zhang, Ramya H. Tunuguntla, Pyung On Choi, Aleksandr Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


In-plane mobility of proteins in lipid membranes is one of the fundamental mechanisms supporting biological functionality. Here we use high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) to show that a novel type of biomimetic channel-carbon nanotube porins (CNTPs)-is also laterally mobile in supported lipid membranes, mimicking biological protein behaviour. HS-AFM can capture real-time dynamics of CNTP motion in the supported lipid bilayer membrane, build long-term trajectories of the CNTP motion and determine the diffusion coefficients associated with this motion. Our analysis shows that diffusion coefficients of CNTPs fall into the same range as those of proteins in supported lipid membranes. CNTPs in HS-AFM experiments often exhibit ‘directed’ diffusion behaviour, which is common for proteins in live cell membranes. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Membrane pores: from structure and assembly, to medicine and technology’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20160226
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1726
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • 2D diffusion
  • CNTPs
  • HS-AFM
  • Supported lipid bilayer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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