Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2013, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (07): 1588-1594.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201304233

• BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Preparation of Freestanding Bilayer Lipid Membranes and the Effect of Temperature on Their Mechanical Properties

WANG Yang, YAN Jia-Wei, ZHU Zai-Wen, ZHAO Xue-Qin, ZHONG Yun-Xing, MAO Bing-Wei   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of the Solid Surfaces, Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian Province, P. R. China
  • Received:2013-01-31 Revised:2012-04-22 Published:2013-06-14
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province, China (2012J01054), National Natural Science Foundation of China (21021002), and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (2012121026).


Nanoporous silicon nitride membranes are fabricated by combining polystyrene colloidal lithography with Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, and then freestanding bilayer lipid membranes are constructed across the nanopores by the vesicle method. The topography and mechanical properties of the freestanding bilayer lipid membranes are investigated using the imaging and force curve modes of variable-temperature atomic force microscopy (AFM). The fluidity and self-repair of the freestanding bilayer lipid membranes are observed by AFM, which gives enough freestanding area for further investigations. Force curve measurements demonstrate that both breakthrough and adhesion forces decrease as the temperature increases; i.e., the mechanical stability of freestanding bilayer lipid membranes decreases as the temperature rises. The breakthrough force of freestanding bilayer lipid membranes is smaller than that of supported membranes. Moreover, the adhesion force of freestanding bilayer lipid membranes varies in the opposite manner to that of supported membranes.

Key words: Atomic force microscopy, Freestanding bilayer lipid membrane, Nanoporous silicon nitride membrane, Vesicle, Temperature


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