Supported lipid bilayers as dynamic platforms for tethered particles
Nanoparticle tethering to lipid bilayers enables the observation of hundreds of diffusing particles that are confined within a single field of view. A wide variety of materials ranging from plasmonic metals to soft matter can be stably tethered to the surface of a fluid bilayer by covalent or non-covalent means. The controlled environment of this experimental platform allows direct control over surface compositions and accurate tracking of nanoparticle interactions. This minireview will cover studies that use bilayer-tethered nanoparticles to investigate physical properties related to lipid mobility, biomolecule sensing, and surface interactions, as well as experiments to reversibly manipulate tethered nanoparticles by electric fields.