Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

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Open Access

Nanostructure of supported lipid bilayers in water

  • Bert Nickel1

Received: 4 September 2008

Accepted: 3 October 2008

Published: 23 December 2008


Biologically functional supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) used in the rising field of nanobiotechnology require fine tuning of the SLB interface with the substrate, e.g., a sensor surface. Depending on the application, membrane functionality implies a homogeneous and dense bilayer and a certain degree of diffusivity in order to allow for a rearrangement in response to, e.g., protein binding. Here, progress in the preparation, characterization, and application of SLBs obtained in the past three to five years are highlighted. Synchrotron techniques, which allow to reveal structural features within the membrane on a length scale of 0.5 nm are discussed in more detail, as well as the relation of structural features to dynamical membrane properties obtained by complementary optical techniques.