Templating membrane assembly, structure, and dynamics using engineered interfaces

Ann E. Oliver, Atul N. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The physical and chemical properties of biological membranes are intimately linked to their bounding aqueous interfaces. Supported phospholipid bilayers, obtained by surface-assisted rupture, fusion, and spreading of vesicular microphases, offer a unique opportunity, because engineering the substrate allows manipulation of one of the two bilayer interfaces as well. Here, we review a collection of recent efforts, which illustrates deliberate substrate-membrane coupling using structured surfaces exhibiting chemical and topographic patterns. Vesicle fusion on chemically patterned substrates results in co-existing lipid phases, which reflect the underlying pattern of surface energy and wettability. These co-existing bilayer/monolayer morphologies are useful both for fundamental biophysical studies (e.g., studies of membrane asymmetry) as well as for applied work, such as synthesizing large-scale arrays of bilayers or living cells. The use of patterned, static surfaces provides new models to design complex membrane topographies and curvatures. Dynamic switchable-topography surfaces and sacrificial trehalose based-substrates reveal abilities to dynamically introduce membrane curvature and change the nature of the membrane-substrate interface. Taken together, these studies illustrate the importance of controlling interfaces in devising model membrane platforms for fundamental biophysical studies and bioanalytical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-850
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Carbohydrate supported bilayer
  • Cell patterning
  • Lipid monolayer
  • Membrane curvature
  • Membrane interface
  • Supported lipid bilayer
  • Trehalose
  • Vesicle fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biophysics


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