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Issue 37, 2013
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Optical stretching as a tool to investigate the mechanical properties of lipid bilayers

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Abstract

Measurements of lipid bilayer bending moduli by various techniques produce widely divergent results. We attempt to resolve some of this ambiguity by measuring the bending modulus in a system that can rapidly process large numbers of samples, yielding population statistics. This system is based on optical stretching of giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) in a microfluidic dual-beam optical trap (DBOT). The microfluidic DBOT system is used here to measure three populations of GUVs with distinct lipid compositions. We find that gel-phase membranes are significantly stiffer than liquid-phase membranes, consistent with previous reports. We also find that the addition of cholesterol does not alter the bending modulus of membranes composed of a monounsaturated phospholipid.

Graphical abstract: Optical stretching as a tool to investigate the mechanical properties of lipid bilayers

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 May 2013, accepted on 09 Jul 2013 and first published on 09 Jul 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA42510J
Citation: RSC Adv., 2013,3, 16632-16638
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    Optical stretching as a tool to investigate the mechanical properties of lipid bilayers

    M. E. Solmaz, S. Sankhagowit, R. Biswas, C. A. Mejia, M. L. Povinelli and N. Malmstadt, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 16632
    DOI: 10.1039/C3RA42510J

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