A tethered bilayer lipid membrane that mimics microbial membranes†
A model membrane system has been developed, which mimics the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria. The structure is based on a tethered monolayer which has been fused with vesicles containing lipopolysaccharide molecules. The effect of the composition of the monolayer and the lipids in the outer layer on the structural and electrical properties of the membrane has been investigated. By using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy as well as neutron scattering techniques, it could be shown that a relatively high tethering density and a small amount of diluting lipids in the outer membrane leaflet leads to the formation of a stable solid supported membrane. The influence of divalent ions on the membrane stability has been probed as well as the interaction of the bilayer with the antibiotic colistin. A number of different architectures were developed, suited to both the study of bacterial membrane proteins and the screening of antimicrobial activity of potential drug candidates.