Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance upgrade on Thursday 4th of May 2017 from 8.00am to 9.00am (BST).

During this time our websites will be offline temporarily. If you have any questions please use the feedback button on this page. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 2, 2011
Previous Article Next Article

Nanoscale patterning controls inorganic–membrane interface structure

Author affiliations


The ability to non-destructively integrate inorganic structures into or through biological membranes is essential to realizing full bio-inorganic integration, including arrayed on-chip patch-clamps, drug delivery, and biosensors. Here we explore the role of nanoscale patterning on the strength of biomembrane–inorganic interfaces. AFM measurements show that inorganic probes functionalized with hydrophobic bands with thicknesses complimentary to the hydrophobic lipid bilayer core exhibit strong attachment in the bilayer. As hydrophobic band thickness increases to 2–3 times the bilayer core the interfacial strength decreases, comparable to homogeneously hydrophobic probes. Analytical calculations and molecular dynamics simulations predict a transition between a ‘fused’ interface and a ‘T-junction’ that matches the experimental results, showing lipid disorder and defect formation for thicker bands. These results show that matching biological length scales leads to more intimate bio-inorganic junctions, enabling rational design of non-destructive membrane interfaces.

Graphical abstract: Nanoscale patterning controls inorganic–membrane interface structure

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jul 2010, accepted on 26 Aug 2010 and first published on 07 Oct 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00486C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2011,3, 391-400
  •   Request permissions

    Nanoscale patterning controls inorganic–membrane interface structure

    B. D. Almquist, P. Verma, W. Cai and N. A. Melosh, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 391
    DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00486C

Search articles by author