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Issue 4, 2014
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Smart polymer brush nanostructures guide the self-assembly of pore-spanning lipid bilayers with integrated membrane proteins

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Abstract

Nanopores in arrays on silicon chips are functionalized with pH-responsive poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) brushes and used as supports for pore-spanning lipid bilayers with integrated membrane proteins. Robust platforms are created by the covalent grafting of polymer brushes using surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), resulting in sensor chips that can be successfully reused over several assays. His-tagged proteins are selectively and reversibly bound to the nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) functionalization of the PMAA brush, and consequently lipid bilayer membranes are formed. The enhanced membrane resistance as determined by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and free diffusion of dyed lipids observed as fluorescence recovery after photobleaching confirmed the presence of lipid bilayers. Immobilization of the His-tagged membrane proteins on the NTA-modified PMAA brush near the pore edges is characterized by fluorescence microscopy. This system allows us to adjust the protein density in free-standing bilayers, which are stabilized by the polymer brush underneath. The potential application of the integrated platform for ion channel protein assays is demonstrated.

Graphical abstract: Smart polymer brush nanostructures guide the self-assembly of pore-spanning lipid bilayers with integrated membrane proteins

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Oct 2013, accepted on 29 Nov 2013 and first published on 03 Dec 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR05356C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2014,6, 2228-2237
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    Smart polymer brush nanostructures guide the self-assembly of pore-spanning lipid bilayers with integrated membrane proteins

    G. Wilhelmina de Groot, S. Demarche, M. G. Santonicola, L. Tiefenauer and G. J. Vancso, Nanoscale, 2014, 6, 2228
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR05356C

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